The Southern women have won consecutive games for the first time this season heading into Monday’s game against Jackson State. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m.; the game will be broadcast on CST and WXOK-AM, 1460.
The Jaguars (5-7, 1-2 SWAC) remain a work in progress, but back-to-back victories against Prairie View and Grambling show they’re getting better.
“We’re feeling a lot better,” senior guard Britney Washington said. “We’re starting to play as a unit. We have a lot of chemistry now, and I think it’s really showing on the court.”
Washington, who has come off the bench most of her career, seems to have settled into a starting role. Forward Briana Green, who began the season as a starter, has come off the bench the past two games.
“Our lineup fluctuates depending on who we’re playing and what our needs will be,” coach Sandy Pugh said. “Briana is a staple. She’s a phenomenal talent. She’s got to grow into her own. She hasn’t quite gotten there yet.”
Green, the Jaguars’ leading rebounder (5.0) and second-leading scorer (9.5), splits her time between every position except point guard.
“That’s a lot,” Pugh said. “She has to remember a lot. She has to take care of the basketball, she has to rebound, she has to score. She’s still young, and she’s still developing as a player. As time goes on, I eventually expect to see her back in the starting rotation.”
Pugh said she’s using “a committee” of seniors Kenidi Robinson and Jadea Brundidge as well as junior-college transfer Miaya Crowder in the post. Crowder had eight points and five rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench against Grambling.
“We’ve got to be more consistent from that spot,” Pugh said. “Miaya can score. I don’t think anyone is seeing what she’s capable of doing yet. She’s our best post player in terms of being able to finish around the rim, so we’ve got to get her engaged and keep her engaged and motivated. As time goes on, Miaya will continue to get better and better and better — and the better she gets, the better we’ll get.”
Pugh used all 15 players in Saturday’s 80-68 victory against Grambling, and 11 of them scored.
“We had some bench players that came in and did a great job,” Washington said. “It’s nice to have people on the bench you can depend on.”
Against Grambling, the starters and the bench all had defensive breakdowns that led to fouls. Southern committed 33 fouls and got outscored by 20 points at the free-throw line.
“That’s one of the things we have to fix,” Pugh said. “We can’t let them get on the free-throw line.”
The Tigers are 9-5 and 3-0.
Follow Les East on Twitter, @EastAdvocate.