With its loss at home to Alcorn State on Feb. 26, the Jaguars logged their ninth stumble in a row and have now officially played their way out of the SWAC tournament, featuring the 10-school league’s top eight teams. Next up, tonight: angry regular-season champion Texas Southern, fresh off a devastating loss to Alabama State.
The Hornets, in fact, were the most recent team that Southern had beaten, all the way back on Jan. 22. Since then, the Jaguars have failed to get past 50 points four times. And just lost, and lost and lost.
“Typically, my teams, throughout the years, we’ve gotten better as we finished up,” Southern coach Rob Spivery said, sounding bewildered. “But this team doesn’t seem to be doing that.”
Indeed, not. SU is averaging 56.5 points per game coming into March, last in the conference. In an embarrassing 64-45 loss to Alabama A&M, not a single Southern player could boast double-digit scoring. The one time they put up 74, against Alcorn, they lost by 9. The Jags’ turnover margin, minus-3.07, is also the worst in the SWAC coming into the final month of the season.
That’s killed attendance, as the Jaguars dropped every one of their final six home matches. That’s 0-for-February. SU now reports the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s lowest attendance average, these poor 580 souls.
Now, Southern (4-23 overall, 3-12 in SWAC play) has to travel to Houston in the hopes of stopping Texas Southern’s Swiss Army-knife of a forward, Kevin Galloway. It’s bad news for Spivery, who is now 17-72 over the past three years. Should the Jaguars lose tonight, and then against a dangerous Prairie View A&M team in the 2010-11 finale, Spivery will have achieved a dubious distinction: Finishing with the worst record of his career — for the third straight year.
His squad went 8-23 two years ago, and then 5-25 last season.