The UCA women’s basketball team picked up two more wins last week against the Southeastern Louisiana University Lady Lions and the University of New Orleans Privateers.
The Sugar Bears have now won three straight Southland Conference games.
UCA coach Sandra Rushing said she is pleased with the team’s performance over the last three games.
“I think we are playing a lot better,” she said. “I’m looking for consistency every game. We have to continue to improve and play as a unit. We still have a lot of games ahead of us and I am very happy with the effort and focus we have had in the last few games.”
The Sugar Bears (13-9, 6-4 SLC) played the Lady Lions (7-14, 3-7 SLC) on the road, winning the game 60-48.
Defense and rebounds won the game for UCA. The Sugar Bears held SLU without a field goal for 13 minutes and to only 18 points in the second half.
It was also the third straight game and 10th game this season that UCA held an opponent to under 50 points.
All week, the Bears worked on boxing out. Rushing emphasized that in order to win, the team had to beat the Lady Lions on the boards.
“Anytime you win on the boards, you have a bigger chance to win the game,” she said. “You limit their second-chance points. I’m really proud of the way we rebounded.”
Facing two of the league’s top rebounders in SLU junior forward Nanna Pool (9.5 per game) and senior guard Jameika Hoskins (7.7), UCA pulled down 13 offensive rebounds and out-rebounded Southeastern 39-30.
The leading rebounders for UCA included sophomore guard Maggie Proffitt with seven, senior forward Teria Sadler with eight, junior guard Jameka Watkins with six, and sophomore guard Brianna Mullins and senior forward Brittany Agee with five each.
Proffitt led the team in scoring Mullins and Watts added nine points each, while Agee scored seven.
After beating Southeastern Louisiana, the Sugar Bears returned home to the Farris Center to play the University of New Orleans Privateers (3-17, 1-10 SLC), beating them 50-44.
UCA holds the top-scoring defense in the SLC at 57.1 points per game.
The Sugar Bears shot 25.9 percent in the second half, but made up for it on the defensive end, holding UNO scoreless for 10 minutes.
Rushing said defense is one of the most important parts of the game for the team.
“Defense starts our offense,” she said. “We work on defense everyday. You are not going to shoot the ball great every night, but defense needs to be consistent every night. I thought the last couple of games we have really been good off the ball.”
Proffitt also said the team has concentrated on defense a lot lately.
“We have put a big emphasis on transition as well as rotating over to help when a teammate gets bare, and I feel that we have started to greatly improve in these areas these past few games,” Proffitt said.
Proffitt was UCA’s leading for the third consective game with 16 points. Mullins added 14 point and nine rebounds and sophomore Kelsey McClure added five points and seven rebounds.
UCA goes back on the road to Natchitoches, Louisiana to face No. 3 team in the SLC, the Northwestern State Lady Demons at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12.
The Sugar Bears won the last meeting 63-46 Jan. 28 at home.
Following the game against NSU, UCA will head home for a three-game homestand, starting with the University of the Incarnate Word at 1 p.m. Feb. 15.