The Southern women’s basketball team hasn’t lost a basketball game in four weeks.
When the Jaguars start the second half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule Saturday, they will face the team that gave them that last loss. Grambling beat visiting Southern 57-56 on Jan. 10.
The rematch tips off at 3 p.m. in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. The second-place Jaguars have won six straight to improve to 7-2 — a game behind Texas Southern — and 9-10 overall. The sixth-place Lady Tigers are 4-5 and 7-13.
“That loss kind of hurt our spirits a little bit,” Southern guard Britney Washington said. “We were determined to get back up and make ourselves proud and make coach (Sandy Pugh) proud and play like the team we know we are.”
In the first meeting, Southern had a seven-point lead with less than four minutes remaining but got outscored 12-4 the rest of the way. Pugh said she was disappointed in the Jaguars’ clock management and shot selection as the lead slipped away.
Southern lost the lead but regained a one-point edge with 26 seconds left before Bre’Nae Andrews scored the winning points on a put-back with 4.1 seconds left.
The Jaguars responded with one of their best performances of the season two nights later in a 77-61 victory at Jackson State and have had an average margin of victory of 16 points during the winning streak.
“We’ve really focused on getting better (since the Gramling game),” guard Kendra Coleman said.
Southern has gotten better, but it had to fight back from a 17-point halftime deficit to win its last game 59-51 at Alcorn State a week ago.
The Jaguars, who struggled against Grambling’s 2-2-1 zone, have been inconsistent offensively the past two games. They had one field goal in the final nine minutes of a 53-49 victory at Alabama State and, in their next game at Alcorn, they had one field goal in the first 16 minutes.
“We definitely need to look at our half-court offense because we’re making the routine cuts but not setting screens,” Pugh said. “This offense has so many facets. I tell the players all the time, ‘It’s not just pass and cut.’
“There are so many things we can do. We’re not doing 10 percent of what we’re capable of doing. That’s going to have to be a major revisit. Teams in our league have traditionally played a lot of zone against us, and we’ve gotten comfortable running the offense without looking at everything.”