The Howard Payne Lady Jackets trailed by eight points at halftime, led by a dozen with just under four minutes left, then a lost a seven-point lead in the final 60 seconds of regulation before emerging with a 102-93 overtime victory over the Louisiana College Lady Cats in American Southwest Conference women's basketball action Saturday afternoon at the Brownwood Coliseum.
With the victory, the Lady Jackets evened their overall record at 6-6 while moving back over .500 in conference play with a 2-1 mark. Louisiana College slipped to 2-8 on the season and 0-2 in ASC action.
Despite picking up her fourth foul just seconds into the third quarter, Chelsey Harris led the Lady Jackets with 27 points followed by Brownwood freshman Mallory Garcia with 23, as each sank six three-pointers. Anastasia Willis added a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, Salina Ali chipped in 10 points and Bria Neal contributed nine points and a team-high 12 boards. Also scoring for HPU were Delaney Ingram with eight points, Catlyn Ward with six and Julissa Ibarra with three.
The Lady Jackets shot 44 percent (34 of 77) from the floor and hit 12 of 40 three pointers, while also converting 65 percent (22 of 34) of their free throws. Howard Payne owned a 57-42 edge in rebounds as well, and committed 22 turnovers after giving the ball away 32 times in a 75-71 home loss to Belhaven Thursday.
Louisiana College received 26 points from ZyUnn Cormier, 23 from Maya Washington, 22 from Alex Harrison, 11 from Kayla Kinney, five from Christina Canale and two points from Alexis Lege.
The Lady Cats drained 40 percent (30 of 75) of their field goal attempts, including 9 of 29 treys, and hit 75 percent (24 of 32) of their free throws. Louisiana College lost 18 turnovers, however, which led to 18 Howard Payne points.
Knotted at 82 just 44 seconds into the five-minute extra session, the Lady Jackets pulled away with an Ingram bucket, a Harris free throw, then a trey from Harris to open an 88-82 edge at the 3:01 mark. A jumper from Cormier was followed by another Harris triple as the Lady Jackets' lead stood at 91-84 with 2:19 left.
Louisiana College crept within three points, 91-88, with 1:39 to go, but Ali sank a pair of free throws eight seconds later to boost the lead back to five, 93-88. Garcia then knocked down a pair of free throws to cushion the advantage to 95-88 with 1:04 remaining. The Lady Cats got no closer than five points the rest of the way.
Howard Payne led 78-71 with 1:10 left in regulation following a three-pointer by Garcia, but Louisiana College was able to force overtime. A jumper and a three-pointer by Washington, along with a layup by Canale evened the score with 19 seconds left. The Lady Jackets missed two field goals, a pair of free throws and committed two turnovers in the final 60 seconds.
The Lady Jackets trailed 40-32 at halftime but dominated much of the second half to establish a 75-63 advantage with 3:49 left. Tied at 56 after three quarters and 60 with 8:08 left, HPU began a 15-3 run on a trey by Harris. The rest of the spurt featured five more points from Harris, a three-pointer from Garcia and buckets from Willis and Ward.
Howard Payne is back in action at 5:30 p.m. Thursday as it ventures to ASC West Division rival McMurry (7-4, 0-3), which fell at home to East Texas Baptist, 75-66, Saturday.