SNYDER—The No. 8 South Plains College Lady Texans used a 24-14 second half to down the Western Texas College Lady Westerners 46-41 on Monday night to improve to 20-3 on the year and 5-2 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference.
Elizabeth Cera led the Lady Texans with 12 points in 24 minutes of action, while Jasauen Beard finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Dabrasia Baty racked up nine points, nine rebounds and six assists over 34 minutes, while Brittany Smith totaled six points and hauled in 11 boards.
"We knew we had to change our game in the second half and play with more focus," Baty said. "We didn't play well in the first half and had too many unforced turnovers. We turned it around, and it all started on defense. Western Texas came out and gave us a fight, but we fought back and won the game, and that's all that matters at the end of the day."
After trailing by as much as 12 midway through the second quarter, the Lady Texans used an 11-2 run capped off by a pair of free throws from Madeline Dorris to trim the Lady Westerners' lead to 25-22. Western Texas would go on to take a 27-22 advantage into the break after 20 minutes.
"We started off flat, but came out stronger in the second half," Smith said. "They were a really scrappy team, and we're proud that we got the win. This was a big win to get on the road, and to come into a gym like this in a tough atmosphere against a good team and get a win is very good for us. We need to come out on Thursday against Midland and just execute and do what we do."
South Plains answered back late in third quarter as Baty hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 36 with 2:11 remaining. A conversion at the rim by Baty with 40 seconds left in the third would give South Plains its first lead of the second half, 38-36.
Western Texas would eventually cut the lead to just four with 4:19 left in regulation. It wouldn't be enough as Smith converted on a pair of free throws with 18 seconds remaining to extend the lead to five and give the Lady Texans a crucial conference road win.
"We simply just have to play better basketball for 40 minutes," South Plains head coach Cayla Petree said. "We came out extremely flat. We had 24 turnovers in the game which is completely unacceptable. When we're not ready to play, anybody can beat us. Western Texas is a very good basketball team, and we simply have to get better."
The Lady Texans will look to remain in the hunt for a Western Junior College Athletic Conference title on Thursday night when they host Midland College on Hockley County Schools Employee Credit Union Night at the Texan Dome. Tipoff is set for 5:45 p.m. and can be watched live at spctexans.com.