ABILENE — The Howard Payne Lady Jackets continued to trade wins and losses in American Southwest Conference women's basketball action as they dropped a 75-63 road decision to McMurry Thursday night — the first league win for the Lady War Hawks in four outings.
Coming off a 102-93 overtime home victory over Louisiana College this past Saturday, the Lady Jackets (6-7, 2-2) shot 33 percent (20 of 60) from the floor, converted just 3 of 16 three-pointers, and knocked down 59 percent (20 of 34) of their free throws.
Meanwhile, McMurry (8-4, 1-3) drained 40 percent (26 of 65) of its shots, including 7 of 15 treys, and was successful on 59 percent (16 of 27) of its free throw tries.
Howard Payne was also outrebounded 52-38, though the Lady Jackets turned over the ball just 14 times to 17 for McMurry.
Bria Neal led the Lady Jackets with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Chelsey Harris was the only other HPU player to reach double figures with 15 points. Julissa Ibarra chipped in nine points trailed by seven from Anastasia Willis, five from Salina Ali, three from Mallory Garcia and two points apiece from Lily Janek, Catlyn Ward and Delaney Ingram.
Cassidy Melton paced McMurry with 15 points followed by Sarah Doherty with 11, Skyler Reyna added a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds, and Destiny Matthews finished with 10 points as well.
The Lady Jackets trailed 21-15 after one quarter, drew even at 34 at halftime, fell behind again 55-50 through three frames and was outscored by seven in the fourth period.
McMurry stretched its lead to double digits, 64-53, with 5:42 left on a free throw by Matthews. Howard Payne closed the gap to five points, 65-60, with 3:31 to go following a free throw by Ali but got not closer as McMurry finished on a 10-3 spurt.
Howard Payne will attempt to rebound at Hardin-Simmons (10-3, 4-0) — which defeated Sul Ross, 82-61, Thursday night — at 1 p.m. Saturday.