The Southern women’s basketball team has won eight straight games and, as the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s first team to 10 wins, leads the league by one-half game.
But as the Jaguars prepare for a two-game road trip beginning Saturday at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, coach Sandy Pugh saidher team has plenty of room for improvement.
She rattled off a long list of shortcomings, everything from missed assignments on defense to a lack of focus and effort on the boards.
Her biggest complaint is that the Jaguars (11-11, 10-1) aren’t maintaining their intensity from start to finish.
“You’re 10-1 because you’ve done some things right,” Pugh said, “but you won’t go down the backstretch undefeated if you don’t do everything right.”
The game against struggling Arkansas-Pine Bluff (7-14, 3-8) is followed by a trip to face Mississippi Valley State, which won last year’s regular-season SWAC title.
Although the Jaguars haven’t lost in over a month, their coach’s concerns are justified.
Southern needed triple overtime to beat Grambling, then went to the final possession of a 56-54 win Monday to hold off Jackson State.
“We haven’t had a solid, consistent game in quite some time,” Pugh said. “We’re making too many mental mistakes. I don’t know if fatigue is setting in or what it is. One of the big things I’m looking for is intensity. We have to bring that to the table on a consistent basis.”
The strength of the team this season has been its balance.
Sophomore guard Kendra Coleman averages 13.4 points in SWAC play, but teammates Jasmine Jefferson, Lechell Rush and Adrian Sanders have also shown the ability to carry the scoring load.
Rush will look to match her performance against UAPB last month as she scored 20 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead a 67-44 rout.
“That’s one thing about this team,” Pugh said. “On any given night, it can be someone’s night. They all have the potential to put points on the board.”