Southern women look to remain hot as SWAC women’s tournament gets under way

Southern women look to remain hot as SWAC women's tournament gets under way
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The Southwestern Athletic Conference tiebreaker was needed to sort out a four-way tie for second place in the women’s basketball standings, but there is one thing that didn’t need to be settled. Of the four teams involved, Southern proved it was the hottest in the final weeks of the regular season.

Top-seeded Jackson State, which lost only one conference game, left everyone else scrambling for second place. It was a battle that wasn’t settled until the final game when Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Southern and Prairie View all finished with a 12-6 league record.

Southern (15-14) — which won six of its last seven games, including wins over Prairie View, Alabama State and Alabama A&M — wound up seeded fourth for the SWAC tournament. The Jaguars will face No. 5 Prairie View (15-14) and former Southern coach Sandy Pugh in a quarterfinal game at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. All games will be streamed on ESPN+.

“Without a doubt in my mind, if we play good, quality basketball on both ends, execute and knock down shots, we’re capable of winning the tournament,” Southern coach Carlos Funchess said. “I’ve said that from Day One, and I really believe it.”

Southern righted itself after losing three consecutive SWAC games at the start of February. It was a closing run that began with a 69-52 win over Prairie View on Feb. 11. The Panthers stayed within striking distance most of the game before Southern pulled away for good in the last five minutes.

Both teams shot 35% from the field, but Southern outrebounded Prairie View 38-31. The Jaguars also made 18 of 25 free throws.

For a Southern team that is last in the conference in making free throws at 55.2%, it showed that the Jaguars can do enough at the foul line to win. With a likely semifinal matchup against Jackson State awaiting Thursday’s winner, Southern will need to be at its best to advance in the tournament.

“You’d like to be on the other side (of the bracket) than Jackson State, but either way you’ve got to beat them at some point,” Funchess said. “The toughest thing is, if you play them in the semifinals and win, you have to avoid a letdown in the final.”

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About Marc Lemoine 1865 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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