The Austin College men’s basketball team pulled within two points late but were unable to overcome Howard Payne, falling 74-67 to the Yellow Jackets on Monday night in Hughey Gym.
Austin Wells paced Austin College (5-9) with 13 points as the only ‘Roo to reach double figures, knocking down 5-of-9 shots and 3-of-6 three-pointers.
Austin Freet grabbed 10 boards and chipped in nine points, Josh Quinn hit three three-pointers to finish with nine points, Brian Baehl handed out six assists and Justin Wade blocked four shots.
Rickey Guillory led all scorers with 20 points for Howard Payne, adding seven rebounds and seven blocked shots, and Khyce Randall added 19 points and eight rebounds.
Howard Payne shot 46.3 percent from the field while the ‘Roos were just 31.9 percent from the floor.
Both teams got out to a hot start offensively, with Howard Payne taking an early 9-3 lead in the game’s opening minutes before the ‘Roos battled back with three pointers from Josh Dickerman and Quinn trimming the margin to 16-14 with 11:14 left in the opening half. A Randall three gave HPU a 19-14 lead but Dickerman buried another trey and buckets from Baehl and Wade gave Austin College a 22-19 edge with 9:02 on the clock.
The Austin College lead grew to seven following another triple from Quinn and a short jumper by Patrick Johnson to make it 31-24. However, the Jackets closed the half on a 13-1 run highlighted by seven points from Guillory to take a 37-32 lead into the locker room.
An early three-point-play from Freet and a three pointer by Wells tied the game at 41 with 17:32 left to play, but Howard Payne responded with a 7-0 run. The Jackets extended the margin to 60-51 with 9:27 left in the game but the ‘Roos used a 9-0 run to pull even with 6:29 left.
Guillory and Andres Rivera traded the next five points with 4:22 to play, but a Shadd Cole jumper gave Howard Payne the lead for good at 67-65.