Balanced Southern women roll past Grambling _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern's Rishonti Cowart covers Grambling's Shakyla Hill after an inbounds pass Saturday at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

Southern women’s coach Sandy Pugh has been playing as many as 15 players in search of a dependable rotation.

She seems to be finding some answers.

On Saturday, the Jaguars won their second consecutive game as everybody played and contributed in an 80-68 victory against Grambling in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

Of the 15 players, 12 scored and nine played at least 10 minutes. Britney Washington scored a team-high 13 points, Skylar O’Bear and Briana Green had 10 each, Tashi-ana Thompson scored nine, and Cortnei Purnell and Miaya Crowder had eight each. Green had nine rebounds and Washington and Purnell had seven each.

The Southern bench outscored the Grambling bench 40-25 and outrebounded it 23-7.

“I was happy with everyone going in and contributing,” Pugh said. “But I wasn’t happy with the overall effort.”

Pugh cited turnovers (23) and defense as areas she was disappointed in. She said shortcomings in the perimeter defense put the interior defenders in difficult situations.

As a result, Southern committed 33 fouls and Grambling made 26-of-39 free throws. Grambling committed 12 fouls, and Southern made 6-of-13 free throws.

“We need to move our feet a little more,” Washington said. “At the end of the day, we’ve got to move our feet better and not give the officials an opportunity to make those calls. That’s something we need to get better at.”

The Jaguars (5-7 and 2-1 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference) host Jackson State on Monday.

“We still have a long way to go,” Crowder said. “But we’re headed in the right direction.”

Chantiara Lewis led Grambling (5-9, 2-1) with 16 points, Takerra Parsons scored 12 and John’ea Thompson had 10. Jazmine Boyd, who was named SWAC Player of the Week after averaging 21.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in two wins last week, was scoreless on five shots and had one rebound.

Southern took a 43-29 halftime lead and quickly built the lead to 19 as O’Bear scored five points to start the third quarter.

Grambling got within 16, but Washington made two free throws. Grambling got within 15, but Green made a layup. Grambling got within 15, but O’Bear beat the third-quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer that sent the Jaguars into the fourth quarter with a 64-46 lead.

The score was tied at 10 before Washington made her first two jumpers during a 10-2 run that gave Southern a 20-12 lead after one quarter.

The Jaguars extended the lead as the Tigers made just one field goal during the first four minutes of the second quarter. Crowder, Rishonti Cowart, Green and Purnell each had a basket as Southern scored the first eight points of the second quarter.

Grambling stayed in the game thanks to a big advantage at the foul line. It made 11 consecutive free throws before Parsons beat the buzzer with the Tigers third field-goal of the quarter, cutting the Jaguars lead to 43-29 at halftime.