by DOMINICK PUENTE//Editorial Assistant
With a shaky beginning to 2017, the South Plains College women’s basketball team has begun to find their rhythm in the late stretch of the season.
Going into January with a 17-game winning streak the Lady Texans began the New Year with a crushing 79-72 loss at home against conference foe the Odessa College Lady Wranglers.
With the Lady Wrangles hoping to keep their hopes of an undefeated season alive on the road, the Lady Texans comeback in the ending minutes was cut short by a six-point lead that could not be surpassed.
Sophomore guard Elizabeth Cera brought the deficit within two points against the Lady Texans with seven minutes left.
However, the Lady Wranglers managed to put the Lady Texans defense on their heels to score consecutive baskets to push their lead to six points to cap the game.
The Lady Texans found ways to keep their offensive attack consistent throughout the game finishing the first, second and fourth quarter with at least 15 points or more.
Defensively the offensive pursuit of the Lady Wranglers proved to be difficult to stop as the Lady Texans allowed at least 20 points in the first, second, and third quarter.
Sophomore forward Yanina Inkina lead the charge offensively with 19-points against the Lady Wranglers.
Cera also contributed 18-points towards the Lady Texans cause along with one assist and two steals.
With a tough loss to an undefeated Odessa College and only the second loss of the season, the Lady Texans went on the road to face the New Mexico Junior College Lady Thunderbirds.
A lack of offensive production and a rough defensive outing hurt the Lady Texans and were defeated by the Lady Thunderbirds, 70-61.
In the rebound category, the Lady Thunderbirds ruled the inside of the paint finishing the game with 42 rebounds, while the Lady Texans managed 13 rebounds.
Throughout the game, the Lady Texans struggled to keep offensive pressure on the Lady Thunderbirds.
However, the Lady Texans did string together impressive drives down the court to give SPC a fighting chance and the ability to stay within arm’s reach of a comeback.
Starting guard Jasauen Beard led the Lady Texans in offense with 16-points.
Sophomore guard, Brittany Smith finished the game with 15-points along with three assists and three steals for points.
With a two-game losing streak against two ranked conference rivals mounting on the Lady Texans shoulders, the Howard College Lady Hawks entered the Texan Dome in hopes of leaving with a win.
The Lady Texans put together an impressive victory over the Lady Hawks 60-54 and get back on track and boost their confidence.
Howard College managed to jump on top at the end of the first quarter scoring 18-points against SPC.
However, the Lady Texans followed closely scoring 15-points on the Lady Hawks going into the second quarter.
The Lady Texans defense gained ground against a tough Howard College offense, allowing only three-points in the second quarter.
With the Lady Hawks offense struggling, the Lady Texans managed to run the table offensively and go into halftime with 31-21 lead over Howard College.
As momentum began to shift in the favor of the Lady Texans, SPC continued to overwhelm Howard College offensively to maintain their lead throughout the second half.
The Lady Hawks found answers for the Lady Texans defense in the second half scoring 13-points in the third quarter and finishing the fourth quarter with 21-points.
Although Howard College found offensive production late in the game, the Lady Texans forced their offensive hand and withheld the lead for an impressive conference victory.
Inkina finished the game with team high of 20-points along with being controlling the paint with six rebounds.
As the Lady Texans secured an important victory over Howard College, the Lady Texans went on the road to defeat the Clarendon College Lady Bulldogs 70-53.
The Lady Texans defense showed their strength limiting the Lady Bulldogs to minimal damage offensively.
The Lady Texans and Bulldogs each put up 12-points in the first quarter and continued trading baskets in the second quarter, but held a lead over Clarendon at halftime 25-23.
Though the Lady Bulldogs stayed in stride with SPC, the Lady Texans shut down the Clarendon offense to 29- points in the second half.
The offensive attack for the Lady Texans was in full affect scoring at least 20-points in the third and fourth quarter giving SPC a comfortable cushion in the end.
Defensively, the Lady Texans established their dominance in the paint with 25 defensive rebounds and 32 total rebounds.
Dabrasia Baty and Beard both finished with 15-points to lead the Lady Texans to victory.
Freshman guard Nia Mims had a productive outing offensively finishing with 11 points.