HOUSTON – The Lady Tigers of Texas Southern University saw their five-game winning streak snapped Saturday as they fell to the visiting Southern Jaguars 60-49 in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Niya Mitchell scored a game-high 17 points for the Lady Tigers (15-14), who finish Southwestern Athletic Conference play with a record of 11-7. Marquia Turner added 12 points off the TSU bench.
Alyric Scott scored 12 points to lead the Jaguars (17-12, 14-4 SWAC), who claimed the regular-season SWAC championship with the win.
With the loss, Texas Southern dropped to fifth place in the SWAC standings. The Lady Tigers will travel to No. 4-seeded Grambling State for the opening round of the SWAC Tournament, which begins Tuesday.
Southern’s control of the boards on both ends of the court contributed to the visitors’ success Saturday. The Jaguars outrebounded the Lady Tigers 44-27 and held an 18-4 advantage in offensive rebounds. Southern’s command of the offensive glass led to the Jaguars outscoring TSU 14-0 in second-chance points.
In a game that featured seven ties and nine lead changes, the Jaguars finally began pulling away in the third quarter, when they built a six-point lead late in the period – their largest lead until that point.
TSU fell behind seven points early in the fourth quarter. However, Mitchell helped make it a one-possession game when she scored five unanswered points in an 11-second span to cut Southern’s lead to 43-41 with 8:27 remaining in the game.
Southern would respond by building its lead back to seven points, and the Jaguar advantage oscillated between seven and five points in the middle stages of the fourth quarter. Mitchell sank two free throws with 4:44 left in the game to cut Southern’s lead to 54-49, but those were the last points the Lady Tigers would score.
TSU shot 41 percent (18 of 44) from the field Saturday, but the Lady Tigers were held to 24 percent shooting (4 of 17) from 3-point range in the game.
At halftime of the men’s game between the two teams, the Lady Tigers honored their seniors playing in their last home game – Turner, Makenna Pouengue, Catherine Okwilagwe, Olivia Cunningham, Sharayla Brown, and Bre’Nae Andrews. Pouengue, the lone four-year letterwinner among the seniors, scored five points Saturday.
The Lady Tigers open the SWAC Tournament at Grambling State on Tuesday, with tipoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m.