by: NICK ALVARADO/Editorial Assistant
Conference play is reaching the climax for the South Plains College women’s basketball team as they face must-wins games down the stretch.
Elizabeth Cera had a record-setting performance as the Lady Texans took on Frank Phillips College on Feb. 1 at Texan Dome. The freshman guard scored 42 points in the game and converted 12 three-point shots as she set the school record with the most three-point shots in a game. The previous record was nine, set earlier this season.
“I feel happy cause I have never have made a lot of threes,” Cera said. “I’ve been working on it.”
With the record-setting performance, the Lady Texans pulled out an 85-56 victory. Other top scorers on the team were Yaninka Inkina with 13 points and Brittany Smith with eight points.
The Lady Texans traveled to Midland College on Jan. 28 to start the second half of conference play and a crucial game with NJCAA Region V Tournament implications on the line. The Lady Texans held a 29-21 lead at the half. In the second half, nationally-ranked Midland College showed their rank with a 21-point fourth quarter and a great showing by Walnatia Wright, who had a double-double and led all scorers with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Cera paced SPC with 17 points, shooting 57 percent behind the three-point arc. Dabraisia Baty also contributed 15 points, with Ramiah Henry adding 13.
On Jan. 25, Western Texas College made the trip to Levelland. Entering the game, the Lady Texans were 15-8 overall and held a 2-4 conference record.
In a tough game in all four quarters, Jasmyne Martin came off the bench and led the team in scoring with 14 points and five rebounds. She also shot 80 percent from the free-throw line. Brittany Thompson from Western Texas College had a double-double and led all scorers with 21 points and 18 rebounds, shooting 50 percent from the field.
At the half, the Lady Texans led 29-23 and went on to pull out a victory, 56-52.
In Western Junior College Athletic Conference play, the Lady Texans struggled with a 1-3 record in the first four games.
eb. 1. JENNY GAR“We play in one of the toughest conferences in the country,” said head coach Cayla Petree. “Every night, it’s a battle. We are right there in the hunt, and we gotta go through strong in the second half of conference.”
New Mexico Junior College, a top-10 ranked opponent at the time, came to Texan Dome on Jan. 9 and squeaked out a 73-68 victory.
Cera scored 27 points to once again lead all scorers, and Baty had 25.
On Jan. 7, the Lady Texans traveled to Odessa to take on the Lady Wranglers of Odessa College. SPC took a 32-25 lead in the first half.
Odessa College scored most of their points in the second half, scoring 20 in the third quarter and 25 in the fourth. The Lady Texans were held to nine points in the fourth quarter in a losing effort, 70-63.
Cera had another night scoring in double digits and led all scorers with 20 points. Baty chipped in 14 points, and Henry added 11 points.
No stats were available as the Lady Texans fell to Howard College in overtime, 63-59, in Big Spring.
On Jan. 18, the Lady Texans pulled out a massive victory against Clarendon College, 92-48. Ugochinyere Nwarie led all scorers with 29 points. Cera had 18 points, with Baty tossing in 14 and Holley adding 11 points.
The remaining conference games are crucial for the Lady Texans as they look to qualify for the Region V Tournament held in Brownwood. The top four teams in the conference advance to post-season play.
“We’re definitely undersized right now,” Petree said. “Alot of times, we have four or sometimes five, guards on the floor, and so with the size difference against the other teams that we play, rebounding is always a key.”