20-12, 14-4 Conf

Southern women top Jackson State 45-41 in SWAC title game

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Alyric Scott scored 12 of her 14 points after halftime and hauled down 15 rebounds as top-seeded Southern fended off third seed Jackson State 45-41 Saturday to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament championship and earn a berth in the NCAA Women's Tournament.

The conference championship is Southern's first since 2010.

Courtney Parsons added nine points and seven assists for the Jaguars (20-12), who took control late in the first half. Parsons scored back-to-back layups and Rishonti Cowart added two free throws as Southern closed on a 6-0 run to lead 20-16 at the break. It was the first time the Jaguars had led since 4-2 early in the game.

Marneisha Hamer led Jackson State (18-14) with 17 points, 15 in the second half, and had eight rebounds. Christina Ellis added 12 points.

In the pivotal second quarter, Jackson State was 2 of 11 from the floor, scoring six points. The Tigers worked back into 37-36 lead with 3:40 left in the game, but Scott answered with a layup and Parsons knocked down a 3.

Scott scored eight of her 14 points in the third quarter, when Southern led by as many as six.