RICHARDSON — The Howard Lady Jackets, the No. 3 seed from the West Division, saw their season again come to an end at the hands of the East No. 2 seed East Texas Baptist Lady Tigers, 75-48, Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the American Southwest Conference women's basketball tournament.
Howard Payne (11-15), which had won three of its last four games, suffered its second loss to ETBU (20-6) this season. The Lady Jackets dropped a 63-49 decision at East Texas Baptist on Jan. 16.
The five-time conference champion Lady Jackets — who last won an ASC tournament game in 2016 — have had their season ended in the opening round of the tournament by East Texas Baptist three years in a row.
In Thursday's outing, Howard Payne converted just 23 percent (13 of 55) of its field goals, 21 percent (6 of 29) of its treys, and 76 percent (16 of 21) of its free throws. The Lady Jackets also committed 22 turnovers and were outrebounded, 42-32.
Lily Janek led Howard Payne with 12 points trailed by 11 from Anastasia Willis, eight from Bria Neal, six from Chelsey Harris, five from Salina Ali, three from Delaney Ingram, two from Julissa Ibarra and one point from Catlyn Ward.
The Lady Tigers drained 49 percent (23 of 47) of their shots, 41 percent (9 of 22) of their treys, and 74 percent (20 of 27) of their free throws. The only area in which East Texas Baptist struggled was turnovers, with 24 that led to just 15 HPU points.
ETBU received 19 points from Paige Royal, 17 from Amanda Wilson, 16 from Kim Childress and 11 points from Kendrick Clark.
The Lady Jackets trailed 20-9 after one quarter as ETBU shot 54 percent (7 of 13) in the opening period, plus hit 5 of 6 free throws, while owning a 15-4 edge in rebounds. Howard Payne sank just 20 percent (3 of 15) of its field goals, with two being three-pointers.
Howard Payne closed the gap to 27-20 with 5:40 left in the half following a pair of free throws by Neal, but ETBU stretched the lead to 41-27 at halftime.
The Lady Tigers tacked on the first eight points of the second half to stretch the advantage to 49-27 at the 8:16 mark. The Lady Jackets were able to reduce the deficit to 54-38 by the end of the third period.
In the fourth quarter, however, another quick start by ETBU boosted the lead back to 20 points, 59-39, with 8:33 left. The Lady Tigers' lead peaked at 29 points, 74-45, with 1:55 remaining.