Southern women play exhibition game against Dillard

The Southern women’s basketball team wants to get its season off and running when the Jaguars host Dillard in an exibition game at 3 p.m. Sunday in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

Veteran SU coach Sandy Pugh has been promising an up-tempo style this season, and Sunday will be the first chance fans will get to see what the Jaguars have been working on.

“We want to play fast,” Pugh said. “We don’t want to slow down and bang the block like we’ve done over the years.”

The fans aren’t the only ones interested in watching the development of this style, of course. Pugh and her staff want to see how her players handle themselves in a true game setting before the Jaguars begin the season for real with three home games, starting with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette at 6 p.m. Friday.

“It’s a good test for our kids in terms of getting prepared to go full blast,” Pugh said.

In particular, Pugh wants to see her team making the right decisions at the higher speed and getting the high-percentage shots that this kind of style should produce.

“The kids are beginning to understand what we’re running, and it hasn’t been easy,” Pugh said. “But if we continue to grow, we’ll have a shot.”

Pugh said she expects to play nine to 10 players. She said five players likely won’t play, with three slowed by injury — sophomore forward Jasmine Jefferson (shoulder), freshman guard Victoria Davis (foot surgery, groin) and senior post player Laneisha Stephens (groin) — and two — guard Jasmine King and forward Jadea Brundidge — yet to be ruled eligible.

For all the success the program has had under Pugh, she’s optimistic about this team.

“We’re a better team than we were last year at every position,” said Pugh, whose team finished 13-12 last season.