LEVELLAND — In a top 25 matchup with conference championship implications at stake, the seventh-ranked South Plains College women's basketball team took a one game conference lead in convincing fashion Thursday, drumming No. 16 Midland College 57-41 at the Texan Dome.
South Plains (14-3, 11-2) will be back on the floor Saturday at 2 p.m. in Big Spring to take on Howard College, before closing out the regular season on Monday in Borger against Frank Phillips at 5:45 p.m.
"I'm really proud of these kids and I'm really happy for them," South Plains head coach Ara Baten said. "They competed hard and played well defensively. They rebounded well and made more good decisions with the ball tonight than we have this season. I'm proud of these kids and the way they competed tonight."
South Plains took a commanding 21-5 lead after one quarter after opening the contest with an 11-0 run over the first four minutes of the game. Shooting 42 percent in the opening frame, the Lady Texans would take a 32-18 lead into the locker room at the midway point.
"Midland is extremely fast and plays so fast, we just wanted to try and keep them from getting transition baskets," Baten said. "They still got some because they play fast in transition, and we wanted to focus on keeping it a possession game as much as we could, and the kids did a good job of doing that."
Finding success on the offensive end throughout, South Plains was just as impressive on the defensive end, holding Midland to a season-low point total as the Lady Chaparrals shot just 23 percent from the field over 40 minutes, their worst shooting performance this season. The Lady Texans would extend their lead to as much as 18 in the second half, shooting 42.9 percent in the third quarter.
South Plains, who never trailed in the contest, controlled the interior on both ends, scoring 28 points inside the paint and won the rebound battle 51-40. The Lady Texans recorded 12 points on second chance opportunities as freshman Debora Reis recorded her 13th double-double of the year, totaling 15 points and 13 boards for South Plains over 32 minutes.
"When you defend, rebound, and don't turn the ball over, you're going to give yourself a chance to win," Baten said. "We were much more patient offensively, and we handled the ball better for the most part. We still had some possessions that weren't great, but we didn't turn the ball over and didn't allow them to get live ball turnovers and convert those into easy baskets."
Playing her final game at the Dome, sophomore Grace Hunter netted 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists in 26 minutes, while Dyana Offutt dropped in 10 points and snagged six boards. Sophomore Jordan Brown tallied eight points and four rebounds while Shayla Moseberry totaled four points, three boards, and three steals.