LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's and women's basketball teams are slated to open conference play on Wednesday when they host Howard College at the Texan Dome.
The games were originally scheduled to be played in Big Spring, but due to an electrical issue at the Howard College Gymnasium, the games have been moved to Levelland, with the Lady Texans set to tip at 5:45 p.m., followed by the men's game at 7:30. Both games will stream live at spctexans.com with Michael Wiiest of KLVT Radio calling the courtside action.
The second-ranked Lady Texans come in with an unblemished 10-0 mark as they picked up two more wins over the weekend in Twin Falls, Idaho at the College of Southern Idaho Thanksgiving Classic. The Lady Texans defeated Snow College 66-46 on Friday before knocking off College of Southern Idaho 71-70 to wrap up the road trip.
Sophomore Sarah Shematsi led the Lady Texans with a season-high 26 points and nine rebounds against the Golden Eagles, knocking down 10 of 19 shots from the field and was 6-for-11 from the 3-point line over 37 minutes. Ka'Lia Smith, who hit the game-winning shot with a second to play finished with 16 points, bucketing 8 of 14 attempts from the field and also snagged six rebounds in 26 minutes of play.
Howard brings a record of 4-10 into Wednesday evening and is 3-3 in their last six games. Averaging 53.4 points per game and shooting 33.9 percent from the floor, the Lady Hawks are led by freshman Tatym Barnes who leads the team in scoring with 10.4 points per game, shooting a 36.8 percent clip from the field.
The Texans come in with a record of 5-4 on the year as they look to get back to their winning ways after dropping a pair over the weekend in Plano at the Collin County Thanksgiving Classic. Collin County edged the Texans 73-63 in the Texans' tournament opener and fell to Hill College 80-75 on Saturday. South Plains is averaging 78.8 points per game this season while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 32.7 percent from the 3-point line.
The Texans are led on the offensive end by Rivaldo Soares, a 6-foot-7 guard from Boston who has scored in double figures seven times this season including a 16-point performance against Hill College in Plano. Soares is shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from 3 to go along with 4.6 boards and 1.6 assists per game.
South Plains' Benjamin Bayela has heated up as of late, scoring in double figures in the last four games including a 23-point outing against Hill, and scored a season-high 25 points in the Texans' 99-49 win over Coastal Bend College on Nov. 16. Bayela is averaging just over 12 points per game on the year, shooting 44.3 percent from distance and a team-high 43.9 percent from behind the arc.
Howard comes in with a 9-4 record to date and has won five of their last six. Averaging 83.6 points per game and shooting 45.5 percent from the floor, the Hawks are led by sophomore Lacey Wilson who leads the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game, shooting 47.9 percent on the year. Sophomore Eric Reed Jr. is second in scoring with 14.9 points per game, shooting a 47.4 percent clip including 40.7 percent from the 3-point line.
Following Wednesday's matchups, the Lady Texans will return to action against #15 Seward College at 5:45 p.m. on Friday. The Texans and Lady Texans will then be back on the hardwood when they host Western Texas College on Saturday, Dec. 7., with the Lady Texans tipping off at 2 p.m., followed by the men's game at 3:45 p.m.