The streak is over.
Southern’s women’s basketball team lost 79-71 on Saturday at Grambling, a road trip to the Jaguars’ fiercest rival that ended their seven-game winning streak despite Briana Green's 27 points.
“I thought we did some good things down the stretch,” said coach Sandy Pugh. “Then just some critical turnovers, didn’t box out … We just really seemed out of sync.”
The Jaguars traded punches with Grambling for much of the game, trailing by two at halftime but leading 54-53 after three quarters.
Behind a scrappy crew of guards, Grambling controlled the fourth quarter to deal the Jaguars their first loss since Jan. 3, Southern’s second Southwestern Athletic Conference game.
Grambling outscored tiring Southern 26-17 in the fourth.
“They went to a little 2-3 zone, and our shooters just weren’t shooting the ball,” Pugh said.
The Jaguars (9-10, 8-2 SWAC) remain atop the league standings.
Sarai Blissett, Southern’s 6-foot-1 starting junior center, returned from injury in a limited role Saturday, recording two points and two rebounds in her first action since Jan. 6. Blissett had missed six games with a sprained medial collateral ligament.
Samantha Duncan exited Saturday’s game with a head/eye injury after she took an elbow above her left eye, an injury which required stitches. Duncan reported blurred vision and a headache to Southern’s training staff but passed the team’s concussion protocol, Pugh said.
“If Sam’s on the floor, we win that game,” Pugh said. “Because you’ve got a prolific 3-point shooter, and a veteran who knows how to play and knows what we’re looking for. She could’ve given Briana some help. As it was, we didn’t have any assistance. Nobody stepped up.”
Grambling guard Shakyla Hill, who was named to the Dawn Stanley Midseason Watch List on Friday, recognizing the nation’s top guards, posted 16 points. Monisha Neal added 18 and Jazmin Boyd had 12.
“I thought the little Hill kid did a good job of what she does, getting to the lane,” Pugh said. “That’s one of our big keys we had talked to the kids about before the game, keeping her out of the lane, don’t let her turn the corner. I thought Neal came up big for them.
“Their two dominant scorers stepped up. Ours didn’t.”