The Howard Payne Lady Jackets experienced their fifth loss in the last six outings, suffering a 78-54 loss to the ASC East front-running UT-Dallas Lady Comets Saturday afternoon at the Brownwood Coliseum.
The Lady Jackets (7-11, 3-6) entered day alone in fourth place in the ASC West, and UT-Dallas (14-4, 8-1) would have been HPU's first-round opponent in the ASC tournament had the postseason began Saturday, as the top four seeds from each division advance.
Howard Payne never threatened UT-Dallas as the Lady Jackets trailed 23-12 after one quarter, 44-20 at halftime and 70-41 through three frames.
The Lady Jackets sank just 31 percent (17 of 55) of their field goal attempts, including 12 percent (3 of 24) of their three-pointers, and hit 68 percent (17 of 25) of their free throws.
Chelsey Harris' 17 points paced Howard Payne followed by eight from Catlyn Ward, seven from Salina Ali, six from Bria Neal, five from Mallory Garcia, three apiece from Anastasia Willis, Julissa Ibarra and Delaney Ingram and two points from Lily Janek.
UT-Dallas drained 44 percent (30 of 69) of its shots, including 27 percent (7 of 26) of its treys, and converted 65 percent (11 of 17) of its free throws.
Victoria Pena contributed 21 points for UT-Dallas while Raenett Hughes and Kelley Skinner also finished in double figures with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
The Lady Comets also owned a 53-30 edge in rebounds which resulted in a 17-3 advantage in second-chance points. HPU forced 17 turnovers that turned into 18 points, while UT-Dallas scored 17 points of the Lady Jackets' 16 giveaways.
The Lady Jackets are off until 1 p.m. Saturday when they visit Sul Ross (5-13, 3-6) — which moved into a tie for fourth place with HPU after a 60-55 win over Ozarks. Howard Payne captured the first meeting between the two teams, 82-52, in Brownwood on Dec. 21.