LEVELLAND—Revenge is sweet.
The South Plains College Lady Texans avenged their only loss this season on Monday night downing West Texas Drive 74-53 behind Elizabeth Cera's 19-point performance to improve to 6-1 on the year and push their winning streak to six games.
"I think we were mentally ready to play because we needed to win this game," Cera said. "They beat us in our first game of the season, and we really wanted this one. Everyone was ready to play and everyone was playing well. We have two tough games coming up, and we have just have to keep doing what we're doing."
Following a first quarter which saw the two teams deadlocked at 19 after 10 minutes, the Lady Texans began to find their momentum on offense early in the second quarter. South Plains went on a 10-2 run capped off by a 3 from the top of the key by Brittany Smith, giving the Lady Texans a 29-21 lead with 7:21 remaining in the first half.
Cera would extend the lead to 33-21 at the 5:04 mark with a conversion at the rim. Yanina Inkina continued the onslaught as the sophomore from Belarus found the bucket on a 3 from the right wing to push the lead to 18 with 1:43 remaining. South Plains would eventually take a 44-22 lead into the locker room after the first 20 minutes.
"This was a great win for all of us," Smith said. "As much as we don't want to say it, we were all looking for revenge after they beat us in our first game. They gave us our only loss and we played much better tonight. We had a chip on our shoulder to get this game back. Winning six in a row feels great, and we have to keep rising and keep building."
South Plains continued to pour it on in the second half as Cera would extend the lead to 59-35 with a 3 from the left corner with under two minutes to play in the third quarter. Jasauen Beard would put the exclamation mark on a dominating performance with a steal at midcourt, capped off by a six-foot jumper to widen the margin to 72-44 with 4:20 remaining in the contest.
The Lady Texans shot 48 percent from the floor and 42 percent from behind the arc while also forcing 26 turnovers on defense. Smith finished with 14 points, five steals and three assists, while Beard and Dabrasia Baty each had 10 points.
"I'm really happy with the toughness our girls have shown the past few days," South Plains head coach Cayla Petree said. "This was our fourth win in five days, and I know their legs are tired and they're hurting a little bit, so they had to come out mentally prepared and play a team that beat us the first game of the season. I was just really proud we were able to bounce back with such energy and came out to compete."