BIG SPRING—Elizabeth Cera scored 17 points while Yanina Inkina bucketed 16 and went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe as the No. 7 South Plains College Lady Texans downed Howard 67-57 on Monday night to improve to 24-4 on the year and 9-3 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference.
"Everything was working for us tonight and we're just trying to keep getting better," Inkina said. "Every game from here on out is very important for us, and every win gets us closer to the regional tournament. We know teams are going to play at a high level against us, and we're supposed to win every game. Howard is a really good shooting team, so we just worked hard defensively against a really good team."
Howards' DeAuja Thompson led all scorers in the contest with 22 points and eight rebounds. South Plains facilitated the rock for four quarters and shot 46 percent from the field while holding the Lady Hawks to a 34 percent shooting mark. South Plains outscored the Lady Hawks 18-12 in the second quarter and led 31-27 at the midway point. The Lady Texans shot 40 percent from the perimeter in the first half and 75 percent from the free throw line.
"We just had the mindset that we had three games left and had to come out with a win," Smith said. "We shared the ball as a team and tried to find the open shots with our rotation. We knocked down some shots late that weren't falling four us early on. We came out in the fourth quarter and really found some looks that we wanted."
South Plains dominated the back half of the contest and went on to outscore the Lady Hawks 22-14 in the final 10 minutes. Monday's victory keeps the Lady Texans in second play in the WJCAC with two games remaining. South Plains will shift their focus to Clarendon on Thursday night at the Dome before hosting Western Texas on March 2 at home.
"Howard is a really good team and they made a lot of adjustments since the first time they played us," South Plains head coach Cayla Petree said. "I thought our girls did a good job of recognizing what was going on on the fly and making some plays. We started out a little flat but had a great fourth quarter to finish the game. We shared the ball and were really unselfish, and nobody tried to do too much and they were able to make shots when their number was called."