Southern women welcome Jackson State

Southern women’s basketball coach Sandy Pugh wasn’t a big fan of what she saw Saturday afternoon.

After building a 16-point advantage and leading rival Grambling by double digits much of the day, suddenly the Jaguars found themselves in a knock-down drag-out that took two overtimes to decide.

“I don’t like interesting games — games where I have to go earn my money,” Pugh said after the 83-81 win. “We’ve got to stay focused an entire game. It’s very erratic play.”

Pugh hopes her Jaguars will skip the dramatics and handle business Monday when they face Jackson State to close a two-game homestand. Tip-off at the F.G. Clark Activity Center is set for 5:30 p.m.

Having lost 92-76 at Grambling early in the Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule, Southern (10-11, 9-1) nearly allowed the Tigers, who have only two league wins, to complete an improbable sweep of the season series.

Grambling guard Joanna Miller lit up the Jaguars for 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the near-upset.

That wasn’t the kind of start to the SWAC schedule’s second half Pugh envisioned. But the Jaguars remain tied with Texas Southern atop the league standings as they chase their seventh straight victory.

“I’ve been in this situation a million times,” Pugh said.

“I do what I do and try to get them over the hump.”

Yasmine Fuller (21) and Jasmine Jefferson (20) combined for 41 points Saturday to lead five Jaguars in double figures.

In a 72-59 win in Jackson last month, senior forward Lechell Rush surged with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

JSU (8-11, 5-5) started SWAC play 1-5 but has won four straight. The Tigers are led by Tiffany Kellum, who ranks third in the SWAC in scoring (13.3 points per game) and also in rebounding at 8.5.