Southern women lose to Prairie View

HOUSTON — The Southern men’s and women’s basketball teams have mirrored each other all season long.

Both immediately established themselves as the teams to beat in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Both overcame a couple of bumps in the road and the specter of an NCAA postseason ban to win the conference regular-season title.

And both saw their seasons end in almost exactly the same way in the SWAC tournament.

Two days after the Jaguars men’s team endured one of its worst offensive games of the season in a season-ending loss to Prairie View A&M in the quarterfinals, the same thing happened to the women in the semifinals Friday night.

Southern shot just 25 percent from the field, made 1-of-15 3-pointers and 12-of-23 free throws as it failed to complete a three-game sweep of the Panthers just like the men, falling 72-43.

The Jaguars finished the season 20-8. Fourth-seeded PVAMU (13-17) advanced to the championship game against second-seeded Texas Southern at noon Saturday.

“We played hard, but we couldn’t get any shots to fall,” Southern coach Sandy Pugh said. “We were completely out of sync. We put all our energy and effort toward our offensive output and when the shots weren’t falling we didn’t seem to want to do much of anything else.”

For the first time this season, the Jaguars, who led the SWAC in scoring, did not have a player score in double figures. Jasmine Jefferson had a team-high nine points and a game-high 16 rebounds.

“I thought Jas did a good job on battling on the blocks,” Pugh said. “But too many times she was battling by herself.”

Leading scorer Kendra Coleman had a season-low four points, making 2-of-12 shots and missing all seven of her 3-pointers.

Britney Washington scored eight, making 3-of-15, including 1-of-7 3-pointers.

Adrian Sanders, one of two seniors — along with Yasmin Fuller — whose careers ended with the loss, scored five points on 2-of-10 shooting.

“With Britney and Kendra Coleman, players like that, you have to crowd their space at all times,” Panthers coach Dawn Brown said. “Making them uncomfortable was important for us.”

The Southern players were not available for interviews after the game.

Jeanette Jackson led PVAMU with 18 points and Alexus Parker, Gabrielle Scott and Larissa Scott each scored 10.

Southern trailed by 17 after a poor offensive first half but looked sharper to start the second half.

Cortnei Purnell made a jumper from the corner and Coleman got her first points on a drive.

Parker hit a jumper for PVAMU, but Coleman fed Sanders for a layup and Purnell hit another jumper.

The Panthers called timeout after seeing the Jaguars get within 11 with 17:05 left.

“Then we got tentative again,” Pugh said.

Larissa Scott scored from the lane, LaReahn Washington made two free throws and Jackson made a jumper from the foul line to restore the 17-point margin.

After Coleman made a jumper, Shamiya Brooks scored four points and Scott made two free throws to push the lead to 21 with 11 minutes left.

The first half was similar the one the men played Wednesday, only this one was worse for the Jaguars.

The men were tied at 10, then collapsed offensively and trailed 25-16 at the half on their way to a 64-46 defeat.

The women were tied at 10, then collapsed offensively and trailed 34-17 at the half.

Washington scored five straight points and her free throw gave Southern its last lead at 11-10.

Jackson’s layup started a 9-0 run that gave the Panthers a 19-11 lead.

Kenidi Robinson’s put-back stopped the run, but it would be the Jaguars’ only basket in the final 12 minutes of the half.

Jackson’s 3-pointer was PVAMU’s only basket during the final 7½ minutes of the half, but the Panthers made 12-of-14 free throws down the stretch. For the game they made 28-of-40.

“If you allow 40 free throws and in a tournament game,” Pugh said. “You’re going to lose.”

Texas Southern 79, Jackson State 77 (OT): Ashley Ferguson made a decisive layup with 2 seconds left in overtime as second-seeded TSU (20-11) advanced to Saturday’s title game.

Ferguson finished with 18 points, Alexus Johnson had 12 points and 13 rebounds and SWAC Player of the Year Jazzmin Parker scored a team-high 21.

Dominique Brother led JSU (15-15) with 22 points, Alissa Ross scored 19, Ayanna Hardy-Fuller had 15 and Ekwara Ndongo 10.

SWAC men

TEXAS SOUTHERN 73, ALABAMA STATE 61: In Houston, Aaric Murray scored 16 points, all but one after halftime, D.D. Scarver added 14 and Madarious Gibbs 12 as second-seeded Texas Southern bolted to an early lead and defeated the No. 3 seed Alabama State.

The Tigers (18-14), winners of eight in a row, advanced to Saturday’s title game.

After gaining the lead for good just six minutes in, Texas Southern survived 18 turnovers, and nine Alabama State steals to lead comfortably throughout, shooting 50 percent. Scarver, a freshman who didn’t play until February, scored 11 after halftime with eight rebounds. Gibbs scored 10 in the second half with seven assists.

Jamel Waters led the Hornets (19-12) with 21 points.

The Tigers scored 11 of 14 at the line in the last 3 minutes, Murray sinking 7 of 8 in that span.