Southern women trek to Texas A&M tournament

Three straight losses. Three straight subpar shooting performances.

That’s how the Southern women’s basketball team has opened its 13th season under coach Sandy Pugh, who didn’t envision her Jaguars starting so slowly.

If Southern is to pull out of its early-season mini-slump quickly, it will have to do so against one of the top programs in women’s basketball.

At 7 p.m. Friday in College Station, Texas, the Jaguars (0-3) face Texas A&M (1-3) in the first of their two games at the A&M Classic. Southern will play Marshall on Sunday.

The Jaguars, who finished second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference last year, opened the season with home losses to Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane and South Alabama.

The last game, in particular, was worrisome for SU, which meets South Alabama each year in a home-and-home nonconference series that’s typically close. This time around, the Jaguars shot 29 percent and committed 20 turnovers, and three starters — Laneisha Stephens, Jasmine King and Jasmine Jefferson — combined for nine points.

Lechell Rush was one of the few bright spots, posting team highs with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Texas A&M opened the season with losses to Louisville, Penn State and Connecticut — all top-10 teams. The Aggies defeated Liberty 70-55 on Tuesday.

Friday will mark the first of six straight road games for Southern, which doesn’t play again at the F.G. Clark Activity Center until Dec. 17.