LEVELLAND — As winners of the Western Junior College Athletic Conference and champions of Region V, the South Plains College women's basketball team will look to add to an already stellar resume when they take the floor at the NJCAA Women's Basketball National Tournament at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock.
The Lady Texans, who earned the No. 4 seed, will take on No. 13 Georgia Highlands in the Round of 16 at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The entire tournament will stream live via the NJCAA Network, which can be accessed via the 'Watch' tab at spctexans.com.
South Plains will be making its third consecutive trip to the National Tournament, the first under head coach Ara Baten, who previously led Odessa College to four consecutive appearances at the National Tournament. The Lady Texans have compiled one of the best resumes in the country, posting a record of 19-3, including a 13-2 record in league play, and three top 25 wins. South Plains won the Western Junior College Athletic Conference title, the WJCAC Tournament title, and took down Weatherford College to capture the Region V crown.
"I'm really happy for our kids, they're persevered through a lot this season and are playing their best here at the end, so it's really exciting for us," Baten said. "When you get to this point, anyone you play from here on out is going to be exceptional. We're going to have our hands full no matter who we play, and I think we have been playing our best basketball the last few weeks of the year, and hopefully, we're peaking at the right time and are ready to go."
The Lady Texans are averaging just over 64 points per game, shooting 41.3 percent from the floor, led by freshman Debora Reis who leads the team in scoring with 14 points per game. Reis has recorded 19 double-doubles this season and ranks fifth in the country with 285 total rebounds. The 6-foot forward from Brazil is shooting 58.3 percent from the field on the year and averages 13 rebounds per game, the fourth-best mark in the NJCAA.
Georgia Highlands comes in averaging just over 80 points per game, shooting 40 percent from the field, and average 43.1 rebounds per game. The Lady Chargers, who defeated No. 20 College of Southern Idaho 65-62 in their opening-round matchup on Monday, are led by freshman guard Jashanti Simmons, who leads the team in scoring with 18.8 points per game and is shooting 44.5 percent from the field this season.
Should the Lady Texans win on Wednesday, they will await a matchup with either No. 21 Otero College, or No. 5 Northwest Florida State at 5 p.m. on Thursday in the Round of 8.
National Tournament bracket: https://d2o2figo6ddd0g.cloudfront.net/m/2/3vy6ao7f2lsf2q/2020-21_DI_WBB_Champ_-_Bracket_-First_Round-Day1-.pdf