Given one word to describe the Southern women’s basketball team, Taneara Moore does not hesitate with an answer.
“Toughness,” Moore said after Southern finished the regular season with a 63-51 win over Prairie View on Saturday.
The Jaguars have needed to be tough in the final stretch of the regular season. Battling injuries to multiple players in its last six games, Southern (15-14, 13-5 Southwestern Athletic Conference) went 4-2 to earn the No. 3 seed in the SWAC tournament and the right to host a first-round game.
That game will pair up the Jaguars with No. 6 Prairie View (12-18, 9-9) and former head coach Sandy Pugh at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday just three days after they played in the regular-season finale. Southern won the first meeting 68-48 on Jan. 6 at Prairie View.
“It's tough,” Moore said of the Jaguars' second meeting with Prairie View in four days. ”It's hard to beat a good team like that back to back. We have to come out and play hard and do what we gotta do.”
Moore has seen her role become bigger as the season wore on. A 6-foot sophomore from Baltimore, she came off the bench for the first five games of the season, and has started 23 of the past 24 games.
Moore has averaged 5.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in conference play.
“I would define my role as energy,” she said. “Just being a hustle player, doing the dirty work, cheering my teammates on — whatever they need.”
Down the stretch, Moore’s presence was vital as injuries and illness sidelined Jaden Towner, Alyric Scott, Genovea Johnson and Chloe Fleming for parts of the past six games.
Towner is out for the season with an ankle injury while Johnson sat out four games with an ailing knee. Fleming and Scott each missed one game.
“We lost some key players,” Moore said. “They’re some of our top players, so I had to step up. Usually I’m not an offensive player, but I knew my team needed me to do something.”
Moore came through with seven points apiece against Mississippi Valley, Alabama State, and Texas Southern. She scored nine at Alabama A&M.