The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team jumped out to an early lead only to see Howard Payne storm back to send the game to overtime and the Lady Jackets scored the game’s final seven points in a 71-69 victory over the Cru Thursday night in Brownwood. UMHB drops to 11-6 overall and 4-4 in American Southwest Conference play with the loss. Howard Payne improves to 11-7 overall and 8-1 in the ASC with the victory.
HPU scored first before UMHB used a 14-2 run to grab a 10-point lead with 2:55 left in the first quarter. The Cru lead grew to as many as 18 points in the second quarter before the Yellow Jackets pulled back to within 38-31 at halftime. HPU would take its first lead of the second half at 57-56 with 3:21 left in the fourth period. The two teams would trade the lead until Alicia Blackwell gave the Cru a 61-59 lead with 12 second remaining. Micah Cisneroz tied the game with a layup for HPU with nine seconds to go and the Yellow Jackets missed two potential game-winning free throws in the final second. The Cru scored the first six points of overtime and would lead 69-64 with 2:03 left to play. Cisneroz hit a lay-in and Jada Evans scored the final five points for HPU as UMHB went 0-3 from the field in the final two minutes.
Kendra Wynn led the Cru with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Jonelle Smith added eight points and seven boards. UMHB was just 3-14 from three-point range and 20-32 from the free throw line in the loss. The Cru out rebounded HPU 53-49 but gave up 24 offensive rebounds in the contest.
Cisneroz topped the Yellow Jackets with 22 points and she added eight rebounds. Evans had 12 points off the bench and Djimonii Jackson grabbed a team-best nine rebounds. Howard Payne shot just 30 percent from the field and went 5-25 from beyond the arc, but forced 34 UMHB turnovers in the game and posting 17 steals.
The Cru women will close out a four-game road trip with a 1:00 PM tip-off at Sul Ross State University in Alpine on Saturday. UMHB will then return home to host five straight home games. That stretch opens with a 5:30 PM start against Hardin-Simmons University next Thursday.