LEVELLAND, Texas—Win the fourth quarter.
Tied at 52 heading into the final stint, the South Plains College Lady Texans outscored Arizona Western 24-18 in the final 10 minutes to pick up a 76-70 win on Saturday at the Texan Dome.
South Plains' Elizabeth Cera led all scorers with 25 points and went 4-for-10 from the 3-point line in 36 minutes of action, while Jasauen Beard scored in double figures for the second time this season, finishing the contest with 23 points and five assists.
"I came into today's game with a whole new mentality," Beard said. "We were feeling it offensively tonight, and I think our defense created those shots for us. This game shows that our team has the toughness we have been looking for. If we face adversity like this again, we know we can pull through because we've done it before."
Yanina Inkina chipped in 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field, while Dabrasia Baty finished with six points and two assists. South Plains shot over 48 percent from the floor in the contest, including 11-of-15 from the charity stripe.
"We were very prepared for this game." Inkina said. "We knew that Arizona Western is a very tough team, so we needed to be prepared to beat them today. We played hard and knew what we were supposed to do, and the coaches did a good job at getting us ready for this game."
The Lady Texans jumped out to a 26-18 lead after one quarter, and extended their lead to 14 following an 8-2 run, capped off by a pair of free-throws from Beard with less than five minutes to play before the half, giving South Plains a 34-20 advantage.
The Lady Matadors would answer back early in the third quarter, taking a 44-42 lead with 5:14 left after a three from Maria Marquez, part of a 13-3 run. The Lady Texans would respond and tie the contest at 52 heading into the final frame.
Following a quick bucket from Arizona Western, Elizabeth Cera connected on a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Lady Texans a 55-54 lead with 9:30 remaining. Cera would create success from the perimeter once again, finding the net on a 3-pointer from the right wing to give South Plains a 64-61 lead, one they would never surrender.
"I was really proud of the resolve our girls showed," South Plains head coach Cayla Petree said. "We came out a little flat in the second half, and Arizona Western made some good adjustments and made a run. They took the lead, and we were able to show some composure and continue to execute our game plan. We made plays down the stretch, and I'm just really proud of the toughness we showed."