LEVELLAND — The seventh-ranked South Plains College women's basketball team shot a season-high 44 percent from the 3-point line Monday night, defeating Western Texas College in convincing fashion 70-47 at the Texan Dome.
South Plains jumped out to a 35-14 lead at the half, knocking down a season-high seven 3s in the front half, shooting 63 percent from distance. Viktoria Ivanova bucketed six of her game-high 12 points to open the contest, dropping in a pair of 3s at the midway point. The Lady Texans flustered Western Texans on the defensive end, forcing 11 turnovers after 20 minutes as the Lady Westerners shot just 23 percent in the opening frame.
"It's nice to see the ball go through the net, and we have some kids who can make perimeter shots," South Plains head coach Ara Baten said. "Our outside game has to come along because with what will see further into the season, the more teams wills collapse in the paint and we have to make those plays on the perimeter."
Western opened the second half with a 10-4 run to get within 15 at the 5:40 mark of the third quarter, outscoring South Plains 20-13 to begin the second half. The Lady Texans would respond, shooting 61.4 percent in the final 10 minutes to pull away late. Ivanova finished 4 of 7 from the floor while freshman Debora Reis posted seven points and a game-high 11 boards over 23 minutes for South Plains.
"With everything except for the start of the second half, I thought our effort was pretty good tonight," Baten said. "I thought our focus was there, and except for the first four or five minutes to begin the second half, we played well. Western Texas is a good basketball team and we knew they were going to make some shots, and that's something we can work on cleaning up coming out of the locker room."
Sophomore Jordan Brown poured in 11 points and grabbed eight boards, netting 4 of 8 shots over 25 minutes for the Lady Texans. Martyna Czescik chipped in nine points and three rebounds coming off the bench for South Plains while Shayla Moseberry and Dyana Offutt each tallied seven points.
"This has really been a different year for everyone, and it's coming down to the end," South Plains head coach Ara Baten said. "Everyone is dealing with the same things, and we're going to keep grinding and playing hard, and we have another big game coming up Thursday."
Improving to 13-3 on the season and 10-2 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference, South Plains will shift their focus to Thursday night when they take on No. 16 Midland College with conference championship implications at stake. The Lady Texans have split the series one-one with the Lady Chaparrals, as Thursday's rubber match could determine who brings home the conference crown.