Howard Payne finishes with 4-21 record, 2-14 in conference

BELTON — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets basketball season reached its conclusion Saturday afternoon with an 87-59 road defeat at the hands of the American Southwest Conference West Division champion Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders.

The Yellow Jackets finished with a 2-14 conference record and 4-21 overall mark, while UMHB improved to 19-6 overall and 11-5 in league play as the Crusaders prepare for the ASC tournament, hosted by East No. 1 seed UT-Dallas, Thursday through Saturday.

Howard Payne, which dropped its final three contests of the season, trailed by just two points, 33-31, at halftime of Saturday's finale. UMHB dominated the second half, however, outscoring the Yellow Jackets, 54-28, over the final 20 minutes.

HPU sank 39 percent (24 of 61) of its shots, including 7 of 23 three-pointers, but attempted just six free throws, sinking four. The Yellow Jackets and Crusaders both finished with 37 rebounds, but Howard Payne created just eight UMHB turnovers.

Colton Otts finished with a team-high 12 points for the Yellow Jackets trailed by 11 from Timothy Aguero, 10 from Shadd Cole, seven from Joshua Taylor, six from Luke Cox, five each from Mason Green and Cole Bene', two from Thomas Bingham and one point from Bret Eisenbach.

UMHB buried 53 percent (31 of 59) of its field goal attempts, including 7 of 19 from the three-point arc, and converted 64 percent (18 of 28) of its free throws — attempting 22 more than the Yellow Jackets.

Sam Moore paced the Crusaders with 23 points trailed by 20 from Brian Long and 19 points from Lakendric Hyson.