HOBBS — The top-ranked South Plains College women's basketball team suffered their first loss of the year Thursday night as they fell to No. 13 New Mexico Junior College 67-62 at Ron Black Court.
South Plains still sits atop the Western Junior College Athletic Conference standings as they move to 26-1 on the season and 10-1 in the WJCAC. The Lady Texans will look to get back in the win column when they take on Midland College next Thursday at 5:45 p.m. at the Chaparral Center.
With the Lady Thunderbirds taking a 34-30 lead into the half, New Mexico would open its lead to seven, 39-32 on a layup from Selina Dockery with 6:50 left in the third. South Plains would get back within six, 47-41 thanks to a Johanna Teder' 3-ball with 1:09 to go in the quarter, a lead New Mexico would take into the final stint.
Trialing 58-47 midway through the fourth quarter, South Plains would trim the deficit to six thanks to consecutive 3-pointers from Sarah Shematsi and Grace Hunter to bring the score to 58-52 with 3:01 to go. Ruth Koang would then bring the Lady Texans within a single bucket with a layup with 41 ticks to go to get South Plains within two, 60-58.
The final seconds would turn into a battle at the free throw line as the Dockery dropped in a pair from the charity stripe to put the Lady Thunderbirds up 65-60 in the final moments. Teder would finish with a season-high 23 points, shooting 9 of 10 from the floor and was 3-for-4 from distance over 25 minutes.
Sophomore Ruth Koang netted 13 points and nine points, pouring in 6 of 7 shots as the Lady Texans shot a 52 percent clip from the field and a 29.4 percent mark from distance. Shematsi tallied 11 points and eight rebounds over 38 minutes while Asia McCoy chipped in five points and snagged four boards.
Eliana Cabral led New Mexico with 17 points and three assists, netting 5 of 10 shots from the field as the Lady Thunderbirds shot 37.9 percent from the floor and 23.5 percent from the perimeter. Amaya Lewis tallied 16 points and eight rebounds while Mayra Caicedo netted nine points and three assists.