Bulletin Staff Report

LONGVIEW – The Howard Payne Lady Jackets remained perfect for the young season and picked up their first American Southwest Conference victory with a hard-earned 58-51 win Saturday over LeTourneau University.

The Lady Jackets (3-0, 1-0 ASC), ranked 15th in NCAA Division III, built several double-digit leads during the game, but could never fully put LeTourneau away.

HPU opened the game with a 16-5 run, capped by a Roshanda Gayden jumper with 12:48 remaining in the first half.

But LeTourneau cut that lead to 16-13 after a jumper by Kayla Kerns with 9:44 left.

Howard Payne regained a double-digit advantage, 24-13, on a layup by Katy Sarem with 6:47 left. That’s when LeTourneau stormed back again, cutting the margin to 30-27 at halftime.

The Lady Jackets opened the second half strong, building a 41-31 advantage with 14:39 remaining. But momentum swapped sides again, and LeTourneau cut that lead to 49-45 after a jumper by April McCamey with 5:26 left.

A 3-pointer by Kerns trimmed the margin to 54-51 with 1:04 left in the game, but Howard Payne slammed the door with a 3-pointer by Sarem and a free throw by Brittany Zamora to ensure a seven-point victory.

Hope Hohertz paced Howard Payne with 15 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. HPU was 24-of-65 (37 percent) shooting and 6-of-15 (40 percent) from the foul line.

Alexis Popelar led LeTourneau with 15 points and nine rebounds for a team that was 18-of-55 (33 percent) from the floor and 10-of-16 (63 percent) from the free-throw line.

Howard Payne was 12-of-33 (36 percent) and 4-of-7 from the charity stripe in the first half. LeTourneau was 9-of-27 (33 percent) from the floor and 7-of-8 from the foul line.