Baton Rouge, LA – The Southern University Lady Jaguars have emerged as the 2023 SWAC Women's Basketball Tournament Champions after defeating Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the Final. The Lady Jags secured their first NCAA Tournament Appearance since 2019 with a 62-52 victory in the championship game.
The Lady Golden Lions had a two-point lead at halftime and maintained a 41-38 lead after three quarters. However, the Lady Jaguars made a strong comeback in the final period, scoring 24 points and holding their opponents to 12 points. Southern University's defense was instrumental in their win, limiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff to only 26.7% from the floor.
Southern's Head Coach, Funchess, expressed his pride in his team's performance. "We fought hard and never gave up. We knew we had to stay focused and continue playing aggressively until the end. Our players executed the game plan perfectly, and it paid off."
The Lady Jaguars dominated the game, scoring six fast break points, ten points off turnovers, and 24 points in the paint. They also had an impressive 60% in 3-point shots, eight defensive rebounds, and 55 court points compared to Pine Bluff's 21. The Lady Jags took the lead at 5:54 in the fourth quarter and never looked back, clinching the championship.
The Lady Jaguars' journey to the championship was challenging, as they had to overcome the defending conference champions, Jackson State, in a nail-biting semifinal. Southern University finished the season with an 18-14 overall record and a 12-6 record in the SWAC.
With this victory, the Lady Jaguars have secured a place in the NCAA tournament, which will be their first appearance in four years. Southern University fans are already looking forward to seeing their team compete on the national stage.