The Sugar Bears picked up a big win Jan. 28, beating No. 1 seed in the Southland Conference, the Northwestern State University Lady Demons (12-9, 7-3 Southland Conference).
UCA (11-9, 4-4 SLC) has struggled this season with consistency in games.
“I think the inconsistency comes with our youth and the lack of experience,” Coach Sandra Rushing said. “The more games, the more experience they gain at this level. Nothing takes the place of experience.”
Over winter break, the Sugar Bears went on a three-game losing streak until they beat the University of New Orleans, but then went home and lost again to Nicholls State University.
Now, coming off a 17-point win against the top team in their first double-digit conference win, the Sugar Bears look like a totally different team.
Rushing said the team is now playing up to its potential.
“I hope the players now see what they are capable of doing when they all work together as a unit,” Rushing said.
It was a full team effort for UCA, with every player contributing minutes and all but two contributing points to the board.
The Sugar Bears finished the game with eight turnovers and 27 rebounds, two areas where UCA has struggled this season.
On the offensive end, the Sugar Bears shot 52 percent from the field, 47 percent from beyond the arc and 70 percent from the free-throw line.
In the second half, they were 62 percent from the field and shot six of seven from the 3-point line.
Leading all scorers was sophomore guard Maggie Proffitt, who finished with a career-high of 30 points.
In addition, Proffitt moved to ninth on the UCA career 3-point list, hitting six from beyond the arc in the game.
“It felt great to beat the No. 1 team,” Proffitt said. “I think this game helped our confidence as a team and really showed us that we can compete with anyone in the conference.”
Sophomore guard Brianna Mullins scored 10 points and had five assists.
Junior guard Kendara Watts added nine points, while senior forward Teria Sadler had six points and three rebounds.
Senior forward Brittany Agee had five rebounds and four points, while junior guard Jameka Watkins added five assists.
The Sugar Bears held NSU junior guard Jenelle Perez, who has averaged close to five assists per game in conference, to zero.
Perez scored 19 points and was the only Lady Demon to score in double figures.
Junior guard Keisha Lee and senior guard Chelsea Rogers, who average 11 and eight points per game, were held to a combined two points on one of nine shooting.
Proffitt said the team controlled Northwestern’s role players.
“We knew Perez was going to score so if we were able to limit her and not let any of their other players be a factor, then we knew we would have a good chance to win,” Proffitt said.
UCA will play its next game on the road against Southeastern Louisiana University on Jan. 4 and will return home to take on the University of New Orleans Privateers on Jan. 7.