Howard College's Tori Tucker takes a shot during a game against Midland College on Monday. The Lady Hawks lost to the Lady Chaps 63-61. The men's team lost 74-60. Tucker accounted for 18 of the Lady Hawks' points.
MIDLAND â€” The Howard College women had a chance to avenge their Jan. 7 home loss to Midland College on Monday, but the Lady Chaparrals hung on to edge the Hawks 63-61 despite a strong effort on the road.
â€śI thought we played really well defensively,â€ť HC Head Women's Coach Earl Diddle said. â€śWe did a good job on their All-American, Achiri Ade, and we were in a good position to win the game, but you've got missed free throws, missed blockouts â€” that's how you get beat.â€ť
HC point guard Marion Lemonnier put up 10 points, Tori Tucker hit 18 and Brittany Aikens had a game-high 20 points, but the Hawks gave up some costly plays at the end, including a three-point basket to put the Lady Chaps up by one just before time expired.
â€śThat three-point shot was a big shot,â€ť Diddle said of Midland's late-game rally. â€śGiving up that shot was a tough play, because if she'd missed, we got the rebound and the game is over.â€ť
Despite coming away with a loss, Diddle is pleased with the his team's effort and remains focused on a strong conference finish.
â€śI'm proud of the girls and the way they battled,â€ť Diddle added. â€śEvery game comes down to three-five possessions. We just couldn't execute down the wire. When you are in conference play, every game means so much. Every play means so much â€” it's all important. The next game is always the biggest game.â€ť
That means Thursday's road trip to Clarendon College â€” whom the Hawks scored a 22-point home win over in their last meeting â€” will be the biggest game.
â€ś(Clarendon) just beat Frank Phillips College by 20,â€ť Diddle said. â€śThey've gotten better. We will have to play well to beat them.â€ť
Howard College will wrap up its four-game road affair against Clarendon and will welcome South Plains College to the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on Saturday, Tip off is slated for 1 p.m.
MIDLAND â€” The Hawks led the Chaps 27-25 at the halfway mark Monday and Cameron Forte â€” one of the nation's leading scorers who is averaging 22 points per game â€” had a game-high 26 points, but a second half resurgence by Midland College gave them the 74-60 win over HC â€” its second of the season.
No Hawks aside from Forte scored in double-digits. HC Head Coach Mark Adams attributed the loss to inconsistent shooting and defensive play in the second half of play.
â€śWe shot very poorly from the three-point line and we were under 50 percent at the free throw line,â€ť Adams said. It was a poor defensive effort in the second half, which makes it very hard to win.â€ť
Also hurting the Hawks were matchup issues. The Chaps enjoyed a height advantage, especially at the guard position.
â€śWe really have matchup problems against Midland,â€ť Adams said. â€śWe went back-and-forth with them until about 10 minutes left in the game, but then the bottom fell out and we gave up a lot of easy baskets.â€ť
The Hawks (19-4, 6-3) will try to get back on track with a win over Clarendon College on the road Thursday.
South Plains will be making the trek to Big Spring on Saturday. Game time is set for 3 p.m. at the Dorothy Garret Coliseum.
â€śOur backs are to the wall,â€ť Adams added. â€śWe have to start winning, that's all their is to it.â€ť
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