In a match-up against two consistent junior college women’s basketball heavy weights, the No. 23 South Plains College Lady Texans knocked off No. 1 Seward County Community College, 69-54, Friday evening at the Wendy’s Classic in Liberal. South Plains also became the first non-conference opponent to defeat the Lady Saints in the Green House since 1991. SCCC sophomore Tegan Cunningham, and freshmen Kasia Gawor and Stephani Rhoten combined to score 47 of the Lady Saints’ 54 total points as the Lady Texans held Seward County to just 36 percent shooting (20-for-56) from the floor. Seward County falls to 3-2 overall this season and South Plains improves their season record to 4-2 overall.

The Lady Saints started the contest well jumping out to their largest lead (13-7) after Cunningham scored seven consecutive points, connecting on a jump shot, three-point field goal and two free throws with 12:42 left in the first half. At that point, South Plains immediately got back into the game going on a 19-6 run, to go into halftime with a 26-19 lead.

Despite cruising to an early first half lead, Seward County shot just 31 percent from the field. Cunningham led the Lady Saints with nine points and five rebounds going into halftime.

In the second half, South Plains never handed the lead back to Seward County. The Lady Saints pulled within two points (35-37) just once in the second half with 13:24 left to play.

The Lady Texans took advantage of 22 Lady Saint turnovers and held SCCC to 5-of-16 shooting from long range. Entering tonight’s contest, South Plains had averaged 21.8 turnovers per game. Against SCCC the Lady Texans committed only 11 turnovers (nine in the first half).

Cunningham led the team with 19 points and 10 rebounds, collecting her 21st career double-double in points and rebounds. The sophomore All-American is averaging 20.6 points and nine rebounds per game, while shooting 42 percent from three-point range (5-for-12).

Gawor posted her finest game in a Seward County uniform in only her fifth career game scoring 17 points with seven rebounds. The 6-foot-3-inch post shot 6-for-7 from the field and hit 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.

Rhoten scored 11 points and led all players with three steals and chipped in three assists and three rebounds. Rhoten has now scored at least eight points in every game this season.

South Plains was led by a trio of sophomores including Brittany Blackmon (22 points, four rebounds), Krystal Davis (17 points, seven rebounds) and Ashley Frazier (10 points, four assists).

The Lady Saints will continue play in the Wendy’s Classic on Saturday hosting Clarendon College at 6 p.m.

The first game of the Wendy’s Classic saw a total of 61 turnovers and 44 fouls called while Clarendon College defeated Pratt Community College, 51-47. The Lady Beavers led at halftime, 18-16, in a low scoring contest before Clarendon pulled away late in the second period. Clarendon was led by Areyal LeDeatte (12 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks) and Janee’ Williams (10 points), while Pratt was guided by Wyneisha Webb (12 points, four rebounds), Sasha Crosby (11 points, seven rebounds) and Elizabeth Friesen (10 points, 12 rebounds).