LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's and women's basketball teams will look to protect their home court on Monday night when they play host to New Mexico Junior College in two games that both have conference championship implications.
Ranked fifth in the latest women's basketball national poll, the Lady Texans will look to position themselves atop the WJCAC standings when they square off with the third-ranked Lady Thunderbirds at 5:45 p.m. at the Texan Dome. Following the women's game, the second-ranked Texans will matchup with the Thunderbirds who bring a 13-4 record into the contest.
Both games will be streaming live at spctexans.com and Michael Wiiest of KLVT Radio Levelland will call the courtside action with pregame slated for 5:30 p.m.
Currently 14-2 on the year and 2-0 on the WJCAC, the Lady Thunderbirds have won six straight and are averaging nearly 78 points per game and shooting 49 percent from the field this season. NMJC has proven to be one of the top offensive teams in the country with four players averaging double-digit scoring figures on the year.
Sophomore center Eternati Willock leads the Lady Thunderbirds in scoring with 13.4 points per game and is shooting over 58 percent from the floor. Sophomore forward Sydnee Wynnis is averaging 12.4 points per game and shooting 62.5 percent from the field, while Laci Hawthorne is shooting over 56 percent from the floor this season and averages 11.8 points per game.
That said, the Lady Texans have their own offensive firepower as they head into Monday night as one of the nation's top offensive teams and winners of 15 straight, averaging over 84 points per game and are shooting 50.7 percent from the field.
Keke Hunter, a sophomore from Hot Springs, Arkansas leads South Plains on the offensive end with 16.1 points per game, knocking down over 59 percent of her shots this season. The Lady Texans have proven to be one of the most balanced offensive teams in the country, as Sarah Shematsi and Gabbie Green are both averaging over 13 points per game this season.
The Texans come into the conference showdown with a 15-1 record and are a perfect 4-0 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference. Averaging 84.7 points per game and shooting over 50 percent from the field in conference play, South Plains picked up a pair of wins last week, downing Howard 68-62 on Monday before defeating New Mexico Military Institute 84-61 on Thursday in Roswell.
South Plains is led by Gaige Prim, a 6-foot-9 forward from Aurora, Colorado who is averaging over 22 points per game and ranks second in the country with 13.1 boards per game. Prim has scored in double figures every game this season and has recorded seven consecutive double-doubles. Sophomores Trey Wade and Chris Orlina are also averaging double figures with Wade netting over 14 points per game while Orlina is fourth on the team with 12.1 points per game.
As losers in three of their last four outings, the Thunderbirds will be looking to get back in the win column and are currently 2-1 in conference play. NMJC is led by sophomore Ryan Murphy, a Washington State University commit who leads the team with 18.5 points per game. Sophomore Darnell Rogers is also averaging double figures with 13.3 points per game and is shooting 42.4 percent from the field on the year.