ABILENE — The Howard Payne Lady Jackets tallied the first nine points in Saturday afternoon's American Southwest Conference women's basketball tilt at Hardin-Simmons, but from that point on it was all Cowgirls, who rolled to a 82-49 victory.
The loss was the second in a row for the Lady Jackets, who slipped to 2-3 in American Southwest Conference action and 6-8 for the year. Hardin-Simmons, meanwhile, remained atop the ASC West with a 5-0 league mark and improved to 10-3 overall behind its 16th consecutive home win.
Howard Payne converted just 28 percent (17 of 60) of its field goals, only 17 percent (3 of 18) of its three-pointers, and 63 percent (12 of 19) of its free throws. The Lady Jackets also committed 20 turnovers while creating 13. HPU did own a 42-37 edge in rebounds.
Bria Neal led the Lady Jackets with 12 points while Lily Janek was the only HPU player to reach double figures with 11 points. Catlyn Ward contributed seven points followed by six from Chelsey Harris, five from Anastasia Williams, four from Salina Ali and two points each from Mallory Garcia and Delaney Ingram.
Hardin-Simmons drained 46 percent (30 of 66) of its shots, including 36 percent (11 of 31) percent of its treys, while also shooting 92 percent (11 of 12) at the charity stripe.
Hallie Edmondson scored a game-high 17 points for the Cowgirls trailed by 14 from Taylor Gaffney, 13 from Karlea Richie and 12 from Kaitlyn Ellis.
After the Lady Jackets raced out a 9-0 lead 2:46 into the contest, the Cowgirls were able to draw even at 13 with 2:35 left in the first period on a three-pointer by Brittany Schnabel. By the end of the opening quarter, the Lady Jackets faced a 22-14 deficit.
Hardin-Simmons extended its lead to 41-21 at halftime and carried a 56-34 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Jackets are back on the road at 5:30 p.m. Thursday as they visit ASC East foe East Texas Baptist (9-4, 5-1), which is coming off a 62-41 victory over Ozarks.