HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Southern women’s basketball coach Sandy Pugh wasn’t overly pleased with her team’s defensive effort Monday night at Alabama A&M.
While Pugh wasn’t pleased, the Jaguars’ numbers showed a different picture.
Southern held A&M to 31 percent shooting, including 18 percent from 3-point range, en route to a 76-63 victory at Elmore Gym.
“I didn’t think we played very well,” Pugh said after watching Southern improve to 8-11 overall and 7-1 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. “I thought we were sporadic and hesitant. We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the basketball.
“We didn’t execute very well at all. That’s not a strike against anybody. We just didn’t do a very good job. Fortunately, we were able to stretch out the lead and get some stops, but we didn’t play well.”
Junior Adrian Sanders certainly played well. She finished with a team-high 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting in 25 minutes before fouling out with a little more than six minutes left. Sanders had 14 points in each half and used her superior size advantage against A&M’s smaller guards.
“I’m a big guard,” she said. “I was blessed with height. I’ve got to use it as much as possible.”
“She’s 5-10 down there with 5-2, 5-5 kids standing behind her,” Pugh said. “She did what she was supposed to do. I was proud of her.”
Southern led 35-33 at halftime and used a 13-6 run over the first six minutes of the second half to go up 48-39.
Sanders scored eight straight points over a three-minute span to give the Jaguars a 60-51 lead with 6:35 left but fouled out on the next trip down.
“I didn’t think that was a foul,” she said.
With Sanders on the bench, Yasmine Fuller took up the slack: Fuller scored nine of her 15 points in the last six minutes.
“Fuller is really quick,” Pugh said. “You can’t prepare for that quickness watching tape.”
Fuller was only 2-of-7 from the field but made all 10 of her free throws. She also had three rebounds, three assists and four steals. Southern had a huge advantage from its bench, outscoring A&M 27-7.
Jasmine Sanders led A&M (6-11, 5-2) with a game-high 32 points and 11 rebounds. She was 10-of-15 from the field and 11-of-13 from the free-throw line.
“She gave us all we could handle and then some,” Pugh said.
A&M’s Shundray Davis finished with 14 points, but the rest of the team had just 17.
At the halfway point of the SWAC schedule, Pugh likes her team’s position.
“Historically,” she said, “when we’ve won three games in this (road trip), we’ve won the championship.”