LEVELLAND – It may not have been as pretty as some expected, but the Lady Texans defeated Clarendon College 83-71 Thursday night in their regular season finale at the Texan Dome. In doing so, the Lady Texans gave themselves an opportunity for their first Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) championship since 2008, pending the outcome of the contest between New Mexico and league leading Midland.
New Mexico wound up defeating the Lady Chaps 79-71 in Hobbs, forcing a three-way tie atop the WJCAC standings. South Plains earned the championship based on power points and will enter next week's Region 5 tournament as the No. 1 seed from the WJCAC and will face Temple College, who earned the No. 4 seed from the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference on a coin flip due to being tied with McLennan.
There were times during Thursday night's game when fans were not sure the New Mexico-Midland outcome would even matter.
The Lady Texans (24-5, 11-3) struggled early, making only one of their first 20 field goal attempts, falling behind by as many as 13 points.
South Plains regrouped and outscored Clarendon 23-8 to take a 27-25 lead at halftime.
Fortunately, the second half did not begin like the first because those pesky Lady Bulldogs would not go away.
Aundrea Davis nailed a 3 to start the second half and the Lady Texans made four of the first six shots, but Clarendon seemed to have an answer for everything South Plains threw at them.
Ultimately, with time running out, Clarendon had an opportunity to put an enormous amount of pressure on the Lady Texans.
With only 20 ticks remaining in the game, Clarendon's Alex Stice made a bucket while also drawing a foul. The basket tied the game and the foul gave Stice an opportunity to put her team in the lead while also giving South Plains only one shot.
Stice missed the free throw and the teams would go into an extra period.
South Plains dominated the overtime.
Kayla Turner converted one of her for 3-point buckets as South Plains scored the first six points.
A Clarendon player would bring the Lady Bulldogs back within three with 2:26 to go, but that would be the only points Clarendon would score in the extra period as South Plains went on to win 83-71.
Hearn led all scorers with 20 points, making 7-of-9 field goal attempts and also converting 6-of-9 from the charity stripe. Stephanie Moore had another double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lady Texans will now turn their attention to Temple (21-9, 10-4), who lost a coin flip with rival McLennan for the No. 4 seed as they were each tied for the third and fourth spots.
Game time for the Lady Texans first round Region 5 game will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6. Every game of the Region 5 tournament will be broadcast live online atwww.psblive.com. Audio of all South Plains College games will be available on KLVT 1230 AM and www.klvtradio.com.
Clarendon (12-18, 2-12)
Vanessa Mata 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Stice 2-13 1-3 5, Jessica Williams 1-7 3-5 6, Jae
Carrasco 6-20 0-1 16, Brandi Leal 5-21 1-2 13, Cory Minjarez 3-14 0-0 7, Ashley
McQueen 0-2 2-2 2, Clarissa Elizondo 1-2 2-2 4, Anissa Reyna 2-4 1-1 6, Baily
Gardner 1-2 0-0 2, Elizabet Angong 4-6 2-2 10. Totals 25-91 12-18 71
South Plains (24-5, 11-3)
SCORE BY PERIODS 1st2ndOT1 TOTAL
Clarendon 25 43 3 71
South Plains 27 41 15 83
FG%: Clarendon .275, South Plains .408. 3-pt FG:Clarendon 9-46 (Stice 0-4,
Williams 1-6, Carrasco 4-13, Leal 2-13, Minjarez 1-9, Reyna 1-1), South Plains
7-24 (Dawn 1-2, Davis 1-3, Moore 1-6, Turner 4-11, Myatt 0-2). Rebounds:
Clarendon 54 (Stice 11), South Plains 54 (Moore 11). Fouls Clarendon 18, South
Plains 14. Fouled out: Williams Myatt . Technical: none. Assists: Clarendon 12
(Williams 5), South Plains 16 (Dawn 7). Steals: Clarendon 5 (Stice 1, Leal 1,
McQueen 1, Elizondo 1, Angong 1), South Plains 6 (Dawn 5). Blocked shots:
Clarendon 0, South Plains 5 (Moore 2). Turnovers: Clarendon 13, South Plains