The Southern women’s basketball team took early control and maintained it the rest of the way for the second game in a row.
The Jaguars, who opened a 14-point lead in the first 12 minutes of a 28-point victory against Grambling on Saturday, bolted to a 20-point lead in less than eight minutes to start an 82-60, wire-to-wire victory against Jackson State on Monday night in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
“We just tried to keep up the same intensity that we had against Grambling,” forward Jasmine Jefferson said. “Sometimes when we play on Saturday and Monday, we’ll come out with intensity in one of the games but not both. This time, we came out with that intensity in both games.”
The Jaguars won their eighth consecutive game to improve to 9-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and 11-10 overall. They visit Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday. Jackson State fell to 4-7 and 7-15.
Southern had its highest-scoring game against NCAA opposition this season. The Jaguars put their depth to good use as 12 of the 13 players who entered the game scored. Kendra Coleman led the way with 13 points, Cortnei Purnell scored all 12 of her points in the first half , Britney Washington added 12 off the bench and Jefferson had 11.
“The offense just came to me,” Purnell said. “I was in position at the right time, and my teammates did a good job of finding me. And I was able to knock down most of my shots.”
Ayanna Hardy-Fuller led JSU with 17 points, and Dominique Brothern scored 15, making 3-of-4 3-pointers.
The game lasted about 2 hours and 20 minutes; 68 fouls were called — 36 on the Lady Tigers and 32 on the Jaguars.
“Wow,” Southern coach Sandy Pugh said after looking at the final stat sheet. “Ninety-one free throws, and both teams were horrible.”
JSU made 24 of 45 free throws and Southern made 25 of 46.
The Jaguars led by 18 at halftime and put a quick stop to the Lady Tigers’ attempts to make the game competitive early in the second half. JSU scored the first four points, but Washington made a 3-pointer and Coleman a free throw to negate them.
The Lady Tigers scored the next six points, but Coleman made a 3-pointer and Washington’s 3 started a 14-3 run that gave the Jaguars a 67-42 lead.
“We jumped out really early,” Pugh said. “The game was called really tight, and we started doing a lot of standing. But overall I’ll take the win.”
Six Jaguars scored as they took a 25-5 lead after eight minutes. They were dominant on both ends, holding the Lady Tigers to one field goal and forcing 11 turnovers that led to 17 points. The transition baskets helped Southern make 10 of its first 13 shots.
JSU started to find some offense from the foul line, but it didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity. It made 14-of-22 free throws to get within 38-20, but Southern still went into halftime with a 46-28 lead.