LEVELLAND — Earning a No. 15 national ranking in the 2018-19 NJCAA Div. I women’s basketball preseason poll, the South Plains College women’s basketball team will make their season debut at the Odessa College Classic against Tohono O’odham Community College on Nov. 1 at 3 p.m.
Following their opening contest, the Lady Texans will matchup with Colorado Northwestern Community College on Nov. 2 at 4 p.m., followed by a contest against Mesa Community College Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. South Plains will make their home debut on Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. against Lamar Community College, before hosting Midland College on Nov. 28 at 5:45 p.m. in the conference opener at the Texan Dome.
Picked third in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference preseason poll, as voted on by coaches in the WJCAC, the Lady Texans are coming off a 17-13 season a year ago and return two pieces from last year’s squad.
Sophomore guard Gabbie Green returns for the Lady Texans after a successful freshman stint in which she averaged 10.6 points, 3.3 boards and 2.1 assists per game. Green tallied double figures in 12 contest last season including a 23 point performance against Temple College, knocking down 8 of 17 shots from the field and was 4-for-7 from the perimeter.
“We signed several new players and have two returners, including Gabbie Green who was very important to us last year, and we’re excited to have her back and she will be a big part of what we’re doing,” South Plains head coach Cayla Petree said. “Chantel Govan from San Antonio is also back, and she is a 3-point shooter who played significant minutes for us. We’re excited and we have a lot of new faces, and we kind of have an international flavor. We have a couple from France and a couple from Australia, so we’re from everywhere.”
Also returning for the Lady Texans is Govan, a 5-foot-7 sophomore guard from Judson High School in San Antonio who averaged 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds as a freshman. Govan recorded double-digit scoring figures in 12 games a year ago including a 17 point outing against Chandler-Gilbert on Nov. 17 in which she bucketed 7 of 10 attempts from the field and was 3 of 6 from the 3-point line.
South Plains added 10 new players to the roster including 6-foot-2 freshman Sarah Shematsi who competed on the French FIBA 3-on-3 team. Petree also added 6-foot-2 forward Grace George, a versatile scorer from anywhere on the floor from Ipswich, Australia. The Lady Texans will also look for immediate production from freshman Caroline Germond from Angers, France, as well as Oceane Robin, a 6-foot guard from France.
“Our roster did grow and we’re definitely a lot bigger than we were in the past,” Petree said. “I think that will be one of our strengths, and coach Steele and I talk about it all the time that it should be an advantage for us defensively. We have some big guards who can play out on the perimeter and attack people off the bounce and give us some different looks.”