Clinton, Miss.-No. 24 ranked Howard Payne University had a solid first half outing in route to a 77-58 win over the University of the Ozarks Lady Eagles in the first round of the American Southwest Conference championship tournament on Friday night in Clinton, Mississippi.
Ozarks ends the season with a 12-14 overall record while Howard Payne improves to 23-3. Howard Payne held a 49-31 advantage at halftime behind a 20-point performance from All-America candidate Meia Daniels. Daniels helped Howard Payne shoot 51 percent from the field in the first twenty minutes of play. The Lady Eagles did hold the lead for about one minute around the midway point of the first half. Ozarks scored 5 quick points to open the second half, but the Lady Jackets wouldn’t budge on the offensive end and held a double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest. Ozarks struggled from the field the entire game, hitting only 19-of-69 (27%) of their shots. LaTisha McCalister led Ozarks with 16 points. Lindsey Nietert added 12 points. McCalister posted a team-best 10 rebounds.