TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A forgettable third quarter ultimately cost Southern in its 69-56 loss to Alabama Wednesday night in the opening round of the Postseason WNIT.
Down just three at the break – the score was 33-30 in favor of the Crimson Tide after Southern closed the half on an 8-0 run – the Jaguars fell behind as a Hannah Cook three-pointer as well as four points from Ashley Williams resulted in a 7-0 Tide run to open the third quarter and put Alabama up by10. Southern closed within four, but the Tide responded by scoring 11 of the next 13 points to push its lead to as many as 15.
A Samantha Duncan bucket and a three from Skylar O’Bear allowed the Jaguars to close the gap to nine as the quarter ended, but Southern got no closer than six, as cold shooting hampered the Jaguars’ offense down the stretch.
Williams scored 19 points for Alabama, which built a 15-point lead in the third quarter, Cook scored 15 points and Jordan Lewis added 11 points.
Southern (17-14) was led by Jaden Towner’s 16 points, five rebounds and four steals. Alryic Scott added 15 points for the Jaguars, who forced 15 turnovers and only had six themselves. Briana Green scored four points in her final collegiate game, as she was limited by early foul trouble.
For the Jaguars, this brings about the end of a season where the team claimed the first outright SWAC regular-season championship in five seasons. In the process, coach Sandy Pugh and Green garnered Coach of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year accolades, respectively. The Jaguars do lose Green and Duncan to graduation but should return the vast majority of the 2017-18 regular season conference champions.