LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's and women's basketball teams will be on the road Thursday for a conference showdown with Frank Phillips College, their first of a stretch of road games in which they will play seven of their next eight away from home.
The Lady Texans come in ranked first in the country after earning a No. 1 national ranking on Tuesday for the second time in program history. South Plains earned its first No. 1 ranking a year ago, a season in which they won the WJCAC crown and advanced to the Elite Eight of the women's national tournament.
Currently 21-0 on the year and 5-0 in league play, the Lady Texans left no doubt who's the team to beat in the WJCAC as they pummeled No. 18 Midland College 75-42 at the Texan Dome Monday, holding the Lady Chaparrals to a season-low point total.
Freshman Johanna Teder led the way with a season-high 20 points and dished out seven assists as the Lady Texans shot over 47 percent from the floor. Sophomore Sarah Shematsi went off for 15 points and snagged six boards, draining 6 of 9 shots from the floor over 26 minutes. Ashala Moseberry dropped in 12 points and dished out a pair of assists in 24 minutes of play while sophomore center Ruth Koang netted 10 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Frank Phillips comes in with a record of 10-10 on the season and are 2-4 in conference play, currently fifth in the league standings. The Lady Plainsmen have won four of their last six but fell to New Mexico Junior College 93-45 on Monday night. Averaging just over 69 points per game, Frank Phillips is shooting 39.6 percent from the floor and are 3-2 on their home court this season.
Coming off a 58-52 win over Midland College on Monday night in which Hall of Fame coach Steve Green captured his 500th win in Levelland, the Texans will look to make it three straight wins in league play as they come in with a record of 12-6 on the season and currently sit in third in the conference standings with a 4-2 mark.
Averaging 71.5 points per game and shooting 41.6 percent from the field on the year, Rivaldo Soares anchored the Texans on the offensive end against the Chaparrals, bucketing 24 points and five rebounds as the 6-foot-7 freshman from Boston knocked down 8 of 15 attempts from the floor and was 4-for-8 from distance. Benjamin Bayela netted 15 points, three rebounds, and three steals, dropping in 5 of 11 attempts and was 4-for-7 from the 3-point line. South Plains shot a 37 percent clip from the floor and were 8 of 18 from the perimeter while forcing the Chaparrals to shoot just 5 of 28 from behind the arc.
Frank Phillips will be looking to stop a four-game skid, with their last win coming on the road in Big Spring as they took down Howard College 79-74 on Jan. 6. With a 7-2 record on their home court this season, the Plainsmen are 13-8 on the year and 2-5 in the WJCAC, averaging 86 points per game while shooting 51.8 percent from the field this season.
Following Thursday's games, South Plains will be on the road on Monday in Odessa followed by a trip to Big Spring to take on Howard College on Jan. 30. Every game can be watched live at spctexans.com by using the 'watch games' tab at the top of the homepage, or you can tune in to KLVT Radio Levelland AM1230 with Michael Wiiest calling the courtside action.