The fourth quarter of the Southern women's basketball game against Grambling provided a snapshot of why the Jaguars pose so many problems for Southwestern Athletic Conference opponents.
Leading by two points, eight Jaguars scored in the final quarter as Southern pulled away from Grambling to take a 71-65 win at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
Jaden Towner and Alyric Scott each scored six points in the quarter and were each one of several factors that helped Southern (12-10, 8-2) maintain at least a share of first place in the SWAC.
“This win was big. Without it we wouldn’t have stayed in first place,” said Scott, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds. “It was big win for us. We just kept pushing and executing, and we got a good win tonight.”
Towner led all scorers with 17 points. Skylar O’Bear finished with 10, and Brittany Rose and Courtney Parson each scored nine points.
Grambling (9-14, 6-4) led in the early going but trailed the entire second half. The Tigers got within 46-44 after three quarters but fell behind by 11 points in the fourth. Grambling could only get as close as five points in the closing minutes.
Justice Coleman and Jazmin Boyd topped Grambling with 14 points apiece. Southern limited Shakyla Hill to 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
“We zeroed in on (Hill) all game. We didn’t let her get the ball back,” Hill said. “That’s who we had to stop.”
At the start of the fourth quarter, Scott scored off an offensive rebound to start an 11-2 Southern run. Cailain Williams had an assist and also scored on a putback basket helping Southern take a 57-46 lead with 5:35 left to play.
Southern matched that lead two more times, and made 6 of 8 free throws in the last three minutes to hold off Grambling.
In the first half, Southern stretched a 23-21 lead to seven points in the second quarter. Amani McWain’s steal and basket gave the Jaguars a 29-22 advantage, and they hit that mark twice more before halftime.
After Jaden Towner’s jumper put Southern up 33-26, Grambling got a 3-pointer from Ariel Williams and an inside basket by Hill. Danayea Charles made a pair of free throws with 46 seconds left to put Southern ahead 35-31, and that score held until halftime.
Grambling scored the game’s first basket but fell behind by as many as five points in the first quarter. Takerra Parsons’ jumper brought Grambling into a tie at 19-19 before Southern moved out to a 23-21 lead after one quarter.