Southern women aim to ‘wreak havoc’ in season opener

Like its men’s basketball team counterparts, the Southern women tip off their regular-season opener against Talladega College at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

The Lady Jaguars took down Dillard 84-49 last Friday night in an exhibition contest. Despite the scoring output, coach Sandy Pugh said her team missed out on chances to put even more points on the scoreboard.

“We missed too many opportunities to get easy baskets in transition,” she said. “I don’t think we had great execution. Watching the tape, I think we had so many miscues — players being out of position, people not understanding when to set their screens or when to cut, or being in the proper place where they needed to be in.”

A hot topic around the college basketball landscape is this season’s emphasis on the hand-checking rule defensively — and consequently the number of free throws and stoppages those fouls have led to. The game against Dillard yielded 74 free-throw attempts.

Still, Pugh wants her team to be aggressive.

“We want to wreak havoc defensively,” she said. “We want to get to the point where we are guarding teams with a level of intensity that they become uncomfortable.”

As for Friday’s game, Pugh expects the visiting Tornadoes to push the basketball right back.

“Talladega likes to run a little bit, too,” she said. “They put the ball in the hands of their guards, and they can really push the ball in transition and finish in traffic. They have a couple of kids that can really shoot the 3-ball. ...

“I’m excited about Friday’s game. I think it’s going to be a coming-out party for us, and hopefully we’ll have a great crowd out there to support us.”