Clarendon — The South Plains College women's basketball team rallied from a 10-point third quarter deficit to down the Clarendon Lady Bulldogs 58-57 on Monday at the Bulldog Gymnasium.
With the win, South Plains improves to 16-13 on the year and 3-10 in the WJCAC and will close out the regular season on Thursday when they host Odessa College at 5:45 p.m. on sophomore night at the Texan Dome.
"I was really pleased with our effort, and from midway through the third quarter I thought we stepped up and responded to the challenge," South Plains head coach Cayla Petree said. "It seemed like everyone stepped up and played big minutes, and the entire team was engaged and everyone understood that every possession was crucial and every possession mattered tonight."
Trailing 40-30 with under six minutes left in the third, freshman Christina Baker would begin a 14-4 run from the Lady Texans with a jumper off the glass with 5:12 to play to trim the deficit to eight. Baker would convert at the rim on the following possession, drawing a foul on the play as she knocked down the and-one to bring South Plains within five, 40-35.
Mikayla Kuehne would then find Haleigh Hill for a quick bucket with 3:59 to go in the third to bring South Plains within three, 40-37. Following a pair of free throws from Clarendon's Lizet Sosa that pushed the score to 42-37, Gabbie Green would hit a runner and bring the Lady Texans back within three with 3:27 remaining in the third.
Following a layup from Kuehne that brought the Lady Texans within one, 42-41, Chauntel Acosta extended Clarendon's lead to 44-41 with a jumper off the glass. It wouldn't last long as Kuehne took a pass from Green at the top of the key and tied the game at 47 apiece with a 3-ball with 45 ticks left in the third quarter. Sophomore center Maddie Dorris would eventually give South Plains its first lead of the second half with a 3 from the top of the key with 9:10 left in regulation.
Trailing 54-47 midway through the fourth quarter, Clarendon would use a 5-0 run to get within two on a Mia Castaneda' layup with 5:29 to go. Tied at 57 all with 14 seconds left following two free throws from Clarendon's Ja'Vonda Daniels, Green would hit the back end of a pair of free throws to put South Plains up 58-57 as Clarendon had one final gasp in the final seconds.
Following a timeout from head coach Mark James, Acosta let off a desperation jumper from the right corner with two Lady Texans in her face, but it would fall short as South Plains picked up their eighth win on the road this season.
"This is a great win for us, and we definitely showed a lot of toughness as the game went on," Green said. "We all had to count on each other tonight, and picking up a win like this is something we definitely needed. We knew when we were down we could either give up or fight back, and we came together and found a way to pull this one out."
Kuehne finished with 12 points and nine rebounds as she knocked down four 3s in the contest. Green tallied 12 points on 5 of 11 shooting from the floor and Baker chipped in 11 points and recorded a game-high 12 rebounds for South Plains. Castaneda led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points on 4 of 12 shooting from the field while Acosta netted 11 and Sosa chipped in 10.
"Christina and Haleigh were big time on the glass for us tonight," Petree said. "Baker recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Haleigh coming in and grabbing 11 rebounds off the bench turned out to be huge for us down the stretch."