Hawks fall to conference leader South Plains College 64-55

Sports Editor

The Hawks played tough against 9-2 conference leader South Plains College Thursday night at Dorothy Garrett Coliseum just three days after a heartbreaking overtime loss to Western Texas College on the road Monday. The game was a tail of two halves for the Hawks who really dominated the Texans in the first half before the roles reversed in the second.
In the first half, Howard College outshot South Plains shooting 50% from the field while holding the Texans to just 32%. The Hawks also out rebounded South Plains and had great production in the paint throughout the first half to give themselves a decent cushion with a 33-19 lead headed into the break. The way Howard College played in the first half had everyone in the Coliseum excited for what looked like could be a big time upset that would really help the Hawks conference standing.
In the second half, everything flipped and it was the Texans who dominated the game. South Plains held Howard College to 32% shooting in the half while increasing their percentage to 48% respectively. It was if the entire game was reversed from the first half with the Hawks going ice cold and the Texans catching fire. South Plains went 4-8 from deep in the second half while Howard College shot an abysmal 4-15 from deep. By the time it was all said and done the Hawks were outscored 45 to 22 in the second half and ended the game shooting just 29% from behind the arc while the Texans shot 43% from three. That said, the hidden stat that really made the difference was the free throws. South Plains got to the line 27 times in the game in comparison to just 4 attempts for Howard college in the game. The Texans made 18 of those FT attempts, which in a 9 point game made all the difference. The fact that the Hawks attempted 24 threes to just 14 by South Plains may have had something to do with those inflated free throw attempts as well.
Eric Reed Jr. led all Hawks scorers with 13 points and also contributed a team high 7 rebounds in the game. Jake Heese added another 12 points while Garrick Green and Matt Johnson each chipped in with 10. Howard College dropped to 6-5 in conference play with the loss and will have an uphill battle to finish out conference play currently sitting in fifth place. The Hawks will look to get back on track Monday as they travel to Clarendon.