Southern women look to extend streak

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern head women's basketball coach Sandy Pugh works with her team during a timeout against Mississippi Valley State during the first half at Southern in Baton Rouge Monday.  MAGS OUT / INTERNET OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT/GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT OUT/225 OUT/10/12 OUT/IN REGISTER OUT/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/MANDATORY CREDIT THE ADVOCATE/ RICHARD ALAN HANNON.
Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern head women's basketball coach Sandy Pugh works with her team during a timeout against Mississippi Valley State during the first half at Southern in Baton Rouge Monday. MAGS OUT / INTERNET OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT/GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT OUT/225 OUT/10/12 OUT/IN REGISTER OUT/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/MANDATORY CREDIT THE ADVOCATE/ RICHARD ALAN HANNON.

A victory over rival Grambling would avenge the Southern women’s basketball team’s only loss of the Southwestern Athletic Conference season.

But coach Sandy Pugh said the Jaguars will have more pressing matters than revenge when the Tigers arrive at the F.G. Clark Activity Center on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Tied with Texas Southern atop the SWAC standings after one half of league play, Southern (9-11, 8-1) begins the second half against Grambling (4-17, 2-7) looking to extend a six-game winning streak.

“I think our intensity level is probably a little higher because of the rivalry factor,” Pugh said. “But we’re in first place. Our whole thing is about going out and being fundamentally sound and improving — and winning. We went 8-1 in the first half. Now we want to go 9-0 on the back half.”

The Jaguars will have to have a better performance than the one that led to an embarrassing 92-76 loss at Grambling in the second week of the SWAC schedule.

On that forgettable Sunday in Lincoln Parish, Southern allowed the Tigers to knocked down 10 of 22 shots from beyond the arc.

Cierra Ceazer, JoAnna Miller and Kamiya Burwell each scored over 20 points.

“We realized immediately after the game up there that we just didn’t play,” Pugh said. “We didn’t show up. We didn’t guard anybody.”

Southern used that loss to recommit itself on the defensive end and finished the SWAC’s first half on the six-game tear.

Now comes the second half and a chance to get pointed toward the finish line in peak form.

“The second go-round is important for us,” Pugh said. “We just want to come out of that gate fast and furious.”