HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Southern University women's basketball used a 19-7 third quarter and a pair of clutch free throws from Courtney Parson to escape a late Alabama A&M charge in a 54-50 win to secure the Jaguars sixth consecutive win Saturday afternoon in T.M. Elmore Gymnasium.
Junior guard Brittany Rose led all scorers with a game high 16 points off the bench on 6 of 11 shooting from the field and added three made 3-point field goals in the win. Forward Jaden Towner finished as the lone starter in double figures, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Southern struggled from the field shooting 38 percent on 16 of 42 shots and missed 20 free throws, but a huge third quarter helped the Jaguars overcome a sluggish start and break open a 23-20 halftime lead.
The Jaguars outscored the Bulldogs 19-7 in the third quarter to build a 42-30 lead before Alabama A&M rallied with a furious fourth quarter rally. Nigeria Jones made a 3-pointer that pulled Alabama A&M within nine, and with about minute remaining in the game Tierra Dark made a jump shot that pulled the Bulldogs within two.
Courtney Parson, who has shown a flare for clutch play in the fourth quarter, made certain Alabama A&M would get any closer.
Parson connected on a pair of free throws with 7.6 seconds remaining that stretched Southern's lead to four and clinching the Jaguars sixth straight win.
Dark led Alabama A&M with 11 points, while Jones added nine. Southern outrebounded Alabama A&M 38-34 but committed 14 turnovers.
With the win and Grambling's 77-74 loss to Jackson State, Southern claims sole possession of first place atop the Southwestern Athletic Conference standings. The Jaguars will travel 195 miles south on Interstate-65 to face the Bulldogs arch rival Alabama State in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome on Monday night. Tipoff for Monday's conference tilt is set for 5:30 p.m. and will be stream on the Hornets website, bamastatesports.com.