The Southern women’s game against the worst team in the Southwestern Athletic Conference was a tune-up for its game against the league’s hottest team.
The Jaguars scored the first 17 points and steamrolled undermanned Mississippi Valley State 78-26 on Monday night in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. The game got out of hand even more quickly than Southern’s 99-36 win in the first meeting four weeks earlier.
Next up for the Jaguars (10-3 in the SWAC and 13-9 overall) is a Saturday visit to second-place Alabama State, which has won 10 consecutive games.
“This was a preparation game for Saturday,” said forward Cortnei Purnell, who scored a game-high 11 points. “We played a lot of different defenses. Everybody did well, everybody scored.”
Only one Jaguar — center Jadea Brundidge, who dressed out but was sick — didn’t play and all 14 who did scored. Briana Green (10 points) was the only other double-figure scorer.
The Lady Delta Devils, who have just eight players on the team and changed coaches earlier this month, are 1-12 and 3-20 after losing their 12th consecutive game.
“This was a good opportunity for us,” Southern coach Sandy Pugh said. “We knew going in it was going to be one of those games where they were going to be overmatched because they’ve lost some players and all the turmoil.”
Five Jaguars, including two substitutes, scored before any Lady Delta Devil scored. Valley got its first point when Zemoria Jernigan made a free throw to make the score 17-1.
Melissa Hickman banked in a 3-pointer from straightaway for Valley’s only field goal in the first quarter. Eight Jaguars scored and Southern had a 27-4 lead after the quarter.
By the time they got to halftime, 12 players had scored for Southern, which led 48-11 and extended the margin to 63-15 after three quarters.
Pugh started junior Kadesha Berry in place of freshman Skyler O’Bear at point guard. Berry had four points, three rebounds and two assists in 14 minutes.
O’Bear had five points, three rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes before being sidelined by an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. The injury was not believed to be serious.
“(Pugh) said she wanted me to push the ball and do what I normally do, get up and down in transition,” Berry said. “I feel I did some good things, but I can do better.”
Follow Les East on Twitter, @EastAdvocate.