Southern's women's basketball team has not been home in two weeks.
The Lady Jaguars have been on the road for the better part of the past month (since Nov. 14's loss at Indiana), losing games which they should have won, coach Sandy Pugh said. Southern is 1-7 this season after earning its only win in a season-opening 86-54 rout of the University of Mobile on Nov. 11 in Baton Rouge.
In the cross-country quest featuring trips to Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Alabama and Florida, Southern has lost seven consecutive road games, including a 108-48 loss to South Florida on Friday in Tampa. South Florida was 21-for-31 from behind 3-point line and made 37 field goals on 62 attempts from the field.
"Those kids, I mean, they shot the cover off the basketball," Pugh said. "They exploited every mistake we made. I thought they exploited every weakness and every mistake we made ... It wasn't pretty to watch."
Being on the road for so long, Southern was able to learn more about its team, Pugh said, and the problems the Lady Jaguars have are visible and being corrected, beginning with wiser shot selections.
"Focused in on us, fixing the problems with our offense," Pugh said. "People taking shots. Where they should be taking shots. Not making the extra pass. Not finishing. Watching some of the tape, we're taking shots that we don't practice, which is totally out of character."
"It's the we shot we need to take. Not the me shot."
Southern was off Saturday and practiced Sunday morning before it went to watch Toledo — its upcoming opponent at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the West Palm Beach Invitational — lose 70-56 to Western Kentucky.
The Lady Jaguars will return to Baton Rouge following Monday's game and do not have another scheduled until conference play begins Jan. 1 against Texas Southern.
Results notwithstanding, it's been a long month on the road, but Southern hasn't thought much about being away from home. Too much fun is being had.
"I said this to my assistant, do you realize I haven't thought about my dog, my house, Baton Rouge, not one time since we've been on these trips," Pugh said. "The one thing I can say, we are having a good time with each other. From that only, we can only continue to grow and continue to improve.
"You learn a lot about your team. Character wise. People wise. Likes and dislikes. We see a whole lot of each other. The one thing I can honestly say is I really, really like this team. I really like its capability ... They're fun to coach. They're fantastic people."