LUBBOCK — The South Plains College women's basketball team overcame a 16-point first-half deficit to get within a single basket late in the second half, but a late surge from No. 5 Northwest Florida State allowed the Lady Raiders to escape with a 63-54 win over the fourth-seeded Lady Texans Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the NJCAA Women's Basketball National Tournament at the Rip Griffin Center.
Trailing 33-17 with 2:12 to play in the second quarter, South Plains ripped off an 8-0 run to end the first half, as sophomore guard Grace Hunter connected on back to back 3s and freshman Debora Reis hit a jumper off the glass to bring the score to 33-25 heading into the break. South Plains would continue to cut away at the deficit midway through the third quarter, as Hunter dropped in another 3 with 3:32 to play to get SPC within six, 40-34.
Down seven early in the fourth quarter, sophomore Shayla Moseberry drained a triple from the right wing to pull the Lady Texans within four, 46-42 with just under nine minutes left. Reis would follow up with a layup on the following offensive possession for South Plains, getting the Lady Texans within a single bucket, 46-44. The Lady Raiders would answer with a 6-0 run to extend their lead back to eight, 52-44 on a jumper from Chanaya Pinto with 6:31 to play.
Hunter would bring the Lady Texans within five points, 57-52 with another 3 with 30 seconds remaining, but a pair of free throws down the stretch would be enough for Northwest Florida State in the end. South Plains finishes the year 20-4 overall, winning 11 of their 12 final games.
Hunter finished with a team-high 17 points, five assists, and four boards, knocking down 6 of 11 shots from the floor and was 4 of 7 from the 3-point line over 37 minutes. Reis closed out the season with her 20th double-double of the season, totaling 14 points and 12 boards over 34 minutes. South Plains shot 38 percent (19-50) from the floor and 31.8 percent (7-22) from distance in the contest.
Northwest Florida State was led by Last-Tear Poa, who netted a game-high 24 points on 9 of 16 shooting and was 5 of 8 from distance. Pinto had 23 points and four rebounds as the Lady Raiders shot 41.2 percent (21-51) from the field and 31.6 percent (6-19) from the 3-point line.