MIDLAND — 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.
“I thought we played really well defensively,” HC Head Women's Coach Earl Diddle said. “We 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 — that's how you get beat.”
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.
“That three-point shot was a big shot,” Diddle said of Midland's late-game rally. “Giving up that shot was a tough play, because if she'd missed, we got the rebound and the game is over.”
Despite coming away with a loss, Diddle is pleased with the his team's effort and remains focused on a strong conference finish.
“I'm proud of the girls and the way they battled,” Diddle added. “Every 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 — it's all important. The next game is always the biggest game.”
That means Thursday's road trip to Clarendon College — whom the Hawks scored a 22-point home win over in their last meeting — will be the biggest game.
“(Clarendon) just beat Frank Phillips College by 20,” Diddle said. “They've gotten better. We will have to play well to beat them.”
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 — The Hawks led the Chaps 27-25 at the halfway mark Monday and Cameron Forte — one of the nation's leading scorers who is averaging 22 points per game — had a game-high 26 points, but a second half resurgence by Midland College gave them the 74-60 win over HC — 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.
“We shot very poorly from the three-point line and we were under 50 percent at the free throw line,” Adams said. It was a poor defensive effort in the second half, which makes it very hard to win.”
Also hurting the Hawks were matchup issues. The Chaps enjoyed a height advantage, especially at the guard position.
“We really have matchup problems against Midland,” Adams said. “We 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.”
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.
“Our backs are to the wall,” Adams added. “We have to start winning, that's all their is to it.”