LEVELLAND — Gabbie Green scored 13 points and Chelsea Hunter finished with 11 points and eight rebounds as the No.16-ranked South Plains College women's basketball team downed Coastal Bend College 70-60 on Wednesday night at the Texan Dome.
South Plains shot 43 percent from the floor and held the Lady Cougars to a 13-for-34 mark from the field to pick up their third win in as many games. La'Praisjah Johnson chipped in eight points and hauled in 13 boards for the Lady Texans (3-1), while Mikayla Kuehne finished with nine points and four rebounds.
"We talk about improving every day, and our main focus is to not have to go back to day one," South Plains head coach Cayla Petree said. "We need to grow, and I thought tonight we had too many mistakes that we shouldn't have made. We have two more games this weekend and four more next week, so we're going to watch film tomorrow and try to cut down on some of our mistakes and get ready for what lies ahead."
Coastal Bend's Daris Whittington knocked down a 3 from the wing to begin the contest and take a 3-0 lead with 9:49 to play in the first quarter. It would be the only time South Plains trailed over the next 39 minutes as Johnson put her team up six with a jumper from 15 feet with 2:43 left in the first quarter. The Lady Cougars trimmed the lead to two on a 3 from Angelina Barela. Johnson would answer back with a conversion at the rim in traffic, giving South Plains a 19-15 lead after 10 minutes.
"We're a high energy team, and I was trying to find the basket and drive inside as much as I could," Johnson said. "That's really our type of game, and my teammates helped me find open shots early on. We didn't play as well as we wanted to, but we kept our intensity and battled every minute. I think we can all be more vocal and keep our energy up on every possession."
Alexis Popham extended South Plains' lead to six with a layup with 8:31 left before the break. Hunter would push the lead to eight with 53 ticks remaining with a 3 from the top of the key, giving South Pains a 33-25 advantage before eventually taking a 34-28 lead into the half.
Hunter found success early in the second half, knocking down a pair of free throws to push the lead to 40-30 with 8:41 to play in the third. Green would then barrel her way through a pack of Lady Cougars, converting at the bucket to push the lead to 44-32 at the 6:21 mark.
"We tried to be patient tonight and find the open shot, and coach is always talking about having poise and waiting for the right time to attack," Hunter said. "We knew if we could force several stops in a row we could create momentum on offense. We're definitely happy to win three in a row, but we know we have to keep improving to compete against the competition we're going to face down the road."
South Plains carried a 48-38 lead into the final stint and went on to lead by as much as 14 midway through the fourth quarter. Coastal Bend cut the deficit to eight on a pair of free throws from Emike Hemphill with 3:17 left. Hunter would end any hopes of a comeback with a jumper from the free throw line with under two minutes left, extending the lead to 66-52.
South Plains won the battle on the glass as they outrebounded the Lady Cougars 36-21. Coastal Bend's Saman Atkinson finished with 13 points and four assists in 31 minutes. Whittington totaled 10 points and three steals, while Hemphill finished with nine points and Barela chipped in with eight.
South Plains will look to stay in the win column on Friday, Nov. 10 when they tip off against SWCID at 1:00 p.m. in Clarendon.