BROWNWOOD, Texas - Hardin-Simmons' men's basketball team saw its seven-game winning streak against Howard Payne come to an end with an 85-80 loss on Saturday afternoon in American Southwest Conference action at the Brownwood Coliseum.
HSU jumped out to an early 19-8 lead and led by as many as 12 at 26-14 with 7:52 to play in the first half. However, HPU used a 16-4 run to take a 30-28 with 3:22 to play in the first half. The run was capped by a Donovan Ford 3-pointer. The Cowboys led 35-33 at halftime.
The Cowboys pushed its lead to 44-37 early in the second half before HPU started to chip away and the Jackets eventually took a 60-59 lead on a Brandon Gould layup with 9:28 to play.
Eric Taylor's 3-pointers gave HSU its final lead of the game at 72-71 with 2:53 to play. HPU then scored the next seven points and closed the game with five of six at the free throw line in the final 30 seconds. The game featured six ties and nine lead changes.
Howard Payne won the game with a huge difference at the free throw line. HPU made 26-of-37, while the Cowboys were just 10-of-18. HPU outscored HSU 23-10 in fast break points and had a 23-13 advantage in bench scoring.
Eric Taylor led the Cowboys with a career-best 31 points and Andy Spears had 15 points and 15 rebounds for his fifth double-double in the last six games. John Derr added 11 points and went over the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Christian Davis led the Yellow Jackets with 19 points. Brandon Gould added 14 points, eight assists, six rebounds and five steals and Ross Whittet added 11 points.
HSU is now 14-9 on the season and 11-6 in ASC action. HPU improved to 7-16 overall and 5-12 in ASC play. The Cowboys close the regular season next week at Texas Lutheran and Schreiner.