HOUSTON — After losing eight straight non conference road games, the Southern women’s basketball team was starving for a victory.
Having it come against defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Texas Southern made it taste that much sweeter.
Briana Green, Samantha Duncan and Tiamya Butler energized a second-half comeback against the Tigers and finished strong in a 67-57 conference-opening win Monday night at H&P Arena.
“We knew we had an opportunity to come in here and wear them down,” SU coach Sandy Pugh said. “The pressure we put on them at the beginning of the fourth quarter was the difference.”
The Jaguars (2-8, 1-0) went on a 28-9 second-half run to turn a six-point deficit into a 13-point lead.
Duncan scored all 17 of her points in the second half, while Green finished with a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds.
“We were slacking in the first half and we knew we had to come out in the second half and play as a team, be confident in ourselves and knock down our shots,” Duncan said. “That’s what we did.”
Butler only had four points, but two key steals and four assists during the pivotal stretch energized the Jaguars.
Green, who made 8-of-19 shots, knew how important it was to get a win after losing eight straight games in six different states.
“It feels good to celebrate for the first time in a while,” Green said. “Winning on the road is huge, especially against Texas Southern. It’s big for us confidence-wise.”
TSU (5-7, 0-1) was led by Joyce Kennerson, who scored 21. Isis Lane added 10 off the bench.
After trailing 35-29 at halftime, Southern took the lead in the third quarter and led by as much as 13. It was the type of result the Jaguars hadn’t seen in almost two months.
“We had a tough preseason, but we just couldn’t finish,” Green said. “We just needed to show we could finish and tonight we did that. It was huge.”