PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — Not liking what she saw of her team’s performance Saturday afternoon, Southern women’s basketball coach Sandy Pugh tried every combination of players she had on the roster.
By the end of the game against Prairie View, the Jaguars ended up with more substitutions than points scored.
Southern turned the ball over 20 times and shot just 35 percent from the field as the Jaguars lost to Prairie View 59-42 in Southwestern Athletic Conference women’s basketball at the William Nicks Building.
“You can chalk this one up to us not showing up,” Pugh said. “We just stood around and watched the game. We might as well have been spectators.
“When you are standing around and not taking care of the ball, it’s tough. When they are going 80 miles per hour and we are going 40, you got a problem.”
The Jaguars (13-16, 12-6 SWAC) substituted at least 45 times during the 40-minute game, playing all 10 players in the game’s first 12 minutes.
“We just dug ourselves a deep hole in the first half, and we had to fight and fight to get back,” SU’s Kendra Coleman said. “We just couldn’t get ourselves all the way out of it.”
Prairie View (14-14, 11-7) was led by sophomore Jeanette Jackson, who scored a game-high 15 points and had six assists.
Larissa Scott and Kiara Etienne each added 13 for the Panthers.
“I think our girls played with intensity,” Prairie View coach Toyelle Wilson said.
“We play really well at home, and it’s a big momentum booster and confidence builder for us.”
Southern dwindled a 23-point lead down to eight points midway through the second half, but was outscored 16-7 to close out the game.
Yasmin Fuller led the Jaguars with 10 points, while Lechell Rush had nine and Kendra Coleman finished with seven.
“As a team we just need to start coming together, especially with the tournament starting,” Fuller said.
The Jaguars finish their Texas road swing 1-1 after knocking off first-place Texas Southern on Thursday.
Southern will return to Texas on March 12 to begin the SWAC tournament as the No. 2 seed.
“We have a whole week, so we will see what we can do,” Pugh said. “You just never know who is going to show up with this team. We haven’t had any solid leadership all season.
“This team has a problem after winning. They celebrate and then they forget to show up the next night.”
PV got off to a quick start, scoring the first six points of the game. The Panthers also pressured SU into several early turnovers, prompting Pugh to sub out Coleman, Rush and Jasmine Jefferson in the first three minutes.
Coleman returned a minute later and scored SU’s first points on a jumper from just inside the free-throw line. A Joslyn Allen shot from up close tied things at 6.
PV then went on an 11-2 run to take a 17-8 lead, highlighted by five points by Jackson and four from Asha Hampton-Finch. The Lady Jaguars turned the ball over three times during that stretch.
“I think we were hyped up with it being senior night,” Jackson said. “We came out fast and strong, and we are on a real high right now.”
The Panthers led 30-18 at halftime, with Jackson’s first-half high 12 points. Southern finished the first half with 11 turnovers. Jasmine Jefferson led the Jaguars with six points at the half.
PV scored the first 11 points of the second half, quickly putting the Panthers up by 23 points.
Southern went on a 16-2 run highlighted by a Coleman 4-point play to get the Jaguars within 43-35 at the 6:02 mark.
Prairie View ran away with it from there, however, outscoring the Jaguars by nine the rest of the way.
The Jaguars hope to get a little bit of a spark with the return of Adrian Sanders, who missed the past two games with a concussion.
She is expected to be back at practice Monday.
“At this point, it’s up to them,” Pugh said. “If they show up and play hard, we will make a good run. If not, we’ll be at the house.”