LEVELLAND—The South Plains College Lady Texans are on the brink of competing for a national title when they take to the court on March 20 at the 2017 NJCAA Women's Basketball National Championship in Lubbock.
The Lady Texans put themselves in such a position thanks to one of the most successful regular seasons in program history, racking up 27 wins on the year including a second place finish in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference thanks to an 11-3 mark in conference play.
Sophomore Brittany Smith played a pivotal roll in getting the Lady Texans in contention to play for a national crown as the Houston native showcased the ability to create on offense and provide a consistent presence on the defensive end. Smith's efforts didn't go unnoticed as the 5-foot-6 guard was named a 2017 WJCAC first team All-Conference selection as well as the conference Defensive Player of the Year. Smith is averaging 10 points per game on the year and is second on the team with 5.5 rebounds per game. Smith also racked up a team-high 122 assists and 48 steals during her second year on the South Plains.
Sophomore Jasauen Beard was also named a first team All-Conference selection as well as the 2017 WJCAC Co-Newcomer of the Year. Beard is second on the team with her 13 points per game average and leads the Lady Texans with 6.8 rebounds per game. Beard scored in double figures 23 times this season including a career-high 28-point performance in the Lady Texans 82-79 win over Hill College on Nov. 19 in Hillsboro.
Yanina Inkina led the Lady Texans in scoring this season with 13.1 points per game which helped the 6-foot-2 forward from Belarus earn first team All-Conference honors. Inkina is shooting 54 percent on the year and ranks ninth in the country with a 42.9 3-point percentage. Inkina scored in double figures 22 times this season and led South Plains to an 81-55 win over Clarendon on Feb. 23, finishing the contest with a career-high 26 points and shot 6-of-8 from the 3-point line.
The complete All-Conference team can be seen at the following link: