LEVELLAND — La'Praisjah Johnson netted a career-high 21 points and Mikayla Kuehne bucketed 11 as the South Plains College women's basketball team pummeled Midland College 58-44 on Thursday night at the Texan Dome.
Johnson, a 5-foot-9 guard out of Ellison High School in Killeen notched 18 points and six boards at the midway point, knocking down 7 of 11 attempts from the floor and was 4 of 6 from behind the arc. South Plains found its stroke early, shooting 46 percent from the field in the front half and forced the Lady Chaparrals to go 0-for-9 from 3 and shoot just 17 percent before the break.
"I was really nervous before the game, and once I had one go in I felt a lot more confident," Johnson said. "It felt good to help my team win, and we've played in some really close games, and this was a really good win and a game to gain some confidence with. We go over scout as much as we can, and tonight we played well as a team and had a lot of trust in each other."
South Plains continued to smother Midland on the defensive end as the Lady Chaps were 3-for-12 from the floor out of the break. The Lady Texans continued to pour it on early in the second half as Maddie Dorris, a 6-foot-1 center from Weatherford knocked down her first 3 of the season to help South Plains push its lead to 46-18 midway through the third, part of a 12-4 run.
Midland (11-10, 4-4) would finally respond late in the fourth quarter with a 16-4 run capped by a 3 from Abbi Hatton to trim the lead to 54-44 with 1:33 left. It wouldn't fly as Chantel Govan sank a pair of free throws to push the lead to 14 as the Lady Texans (15-9, 2-6) picked up their second win in the WJCAC.
"I'm really proud of our team's effort tonight," South Plains head coach Cayla Petree said. "We had people play a lot of minutes, or more minutes than what they have been playing off the bench, and they came in and helped us. When people got into foul trouble they really stepped up, and I thought our start was the key to the game. We talked about coming out and executing, and how we were going to defend their bigs inside, and I thought our girls did a great job."
Johnson added a season-high 10 rebounds to go along with her 21 points and Govan tallied 10 points and handed out three assists over 35 minutes. Freshman Gabbie Green chipped in eight points and dished out a team-high four assists as Dorris and Christina Baker each had four points.
Alexandre Washington and Matangiroa Flavell each had 11 points for the Lady Chaps while Hatton had seven and Ogechi Nwodo finished with six points and seven rebounds.