All of the momentum built by back-to-back games with solid shooting evaporated Monday afternoon for the Southern women's basketball team.
After a close first half, Southern was unable to keep up with Jackson State as the Tigers routed the Jaguars 72-51 at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
“We shot the ball great on Saturday. Today we couldn’t buy a bucket,” Southern coach Carlos Funchess said. “We had some good looks, especially early in the game. I think missing all those shots started affecting us on the defensive end.”
Genovea Johnson and Jaden Towner each scored 10 points for Southern (4-11, 2-2), which made 15 of 63 shots.
The turning point was the start of the third quarter when Jackson State (6-8, 4-0) made its first five shots from the field. Southern missed its first four shots and also had three turnovers. The result was an 11-0 run that saw Jackson State increase a 30-26 lead to 41-26 with 7:24 still to go in the quarter.
“We had some assignment breakdowns and gave them some open looks,” said Funchess, who called two timeouts during the run to no avail. “I had to go to the bench really quick because our energy wasn’t there at the start of the third quarter.”
JSU’s Dayzsha Rogan was the catalyst. She hit a 3-pointer and quickly added a steal and a layup to get the run started. After Sumer Williams and Ameshya Williams each scored baskets, Rogan’s baseline jumper capped the run.
Southern finally broke through on Genovea Johnson’s follow shot. Rogan added another 3-pointer to put JSU up 44-28.
Southern was able to cut its deficit to 50-39 with two minutes left in the quarter after Amani McWain hit two free throws. The Tigers made six free throws before the quarter’s end to surge back to a 56-39 lead.
Southern got no closer than 16 points in the fourth quarter. Jackson State’s largest lead was 69-46 with 2:49 left to play.
Rogan and Ameshya Williams each scored 14 for JSU.
Despite its shooting woes, Southern led almost the entire first quarter and parts of the second. The Jaguars made just nine of 34 shots from the field, but they grabbed six offensive rebounds. They also took care of the basketball, and only had three turnovers.
Jackson State tied the score 18-18 on Kaisah Lucky’s 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer. In the second quarter, there were five lead changes before Brittany Rose’s steal and layup tied the score 24-24.
Jackson State hit four free throws in the last three minutes of the half, when it also got a fast break basket from Kristy Parker to take a 30-26 lead at halftime.