JACKSON, Miss. — Trelun Banks and Adrian Rodgers provided just enough offense and the Southern defense made sure Jackson State couldn’t muster enough in the Jaguars 60-52 victory Monday night at the Lee A. Williams Athletic and Assembly Center.
Banks scored 16 points and Rodgers had 15 while Southern held the Tigers to 34.6 percent shooting for the game.
“We knew they had outrebounded Alcorn by 24 in their last game,” Southern coach Roman Banks said. “So they key for us was going to be finishing our defensive possessions because their best shots are their second shots.”
Southern ( 6-11, 3-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday.
JSU (4-13, 2-2) was led by Raeford Worsham with 15 points and Treshawn Bolden with 13.
Southern led 24-20 at halftime but ran into foul trouble in the frontcourt early in the second half.
Rodgers’ 3-pointer helped push the lead to nine, but Frank Snow committed his fourth foul a minute and a half in, Keith Davis followed suit three minutes later, and Jared Sam two minutes after that. JSU took advantage with an 11-1 run, taking a 32-30 lead on Bolden’s layup.
“I didn’t call a timeout there because I wanted to see how we handled that situation,” coach Banks said. “We came right back. We got a score and a stop, so that says a lot about our chemistry tonight. We didn’t panic, took good shots and protected the ball.”
Banks scored on a drive and Joell Hopkins made a layup to put Southern back on top.
After Pierre Crawford’s put-back tied the score, Rodgers made a jumper and a 3-pointer and Christopher Hyder made a jumper to give the Jaguars a 41-34 lead midway through the half.
Kaven Bernard made two free throws for JSU before Tre Lynch made two and Frank Snow one for Southern.
Bolden’s two free throws and Worsham’s driving basket cut the lead to four before Banks made a 3-pointer.
Javeres Brent made a 3-pointer, but Banks answered with a three-point play for a 50-43 lead.
Worsham made two free throws, but Hopkins’ layup just before the shot-clock buzzer gave the Jaguars a 52-45 edge with 2:44 left. Worsham made a corner jumper, but Banks answered with a driving basket.
“Trelun had a lot of big baskets,” coach Banks said. “We knew Adrian could shoot over guys, and we knew Trelun coming off screens could get his shot and create for himself, so we gave the ball to the guy who could create for us.”
Banks made 7-of-14 field goals, scoring six points in the first half and 10 in the second.
“I hit a couple of jump shots early and that got me going,” Banks said. “Then late in the game they started really playing the jump shot so I took advantage and went to the basket.”
Defense dominated the first half as Southern shot 35 percent from the floor and JSU shot 26 percent.
The score was tied at seven, but the Tigers made just one field goal during a 12½-minute span.
Hopkins broke the tie with two free throws and the Jaguars led 12-8 before Worsham scored on a drive and Bolden made a free throw to get the Tigers within a point.
Lynch made a 3-pointer and Cameron Monroe, Hopkins each made a free throw to give Southern an 18-11 lead.
Dre’Sean Looney’s 3-pointer and two layups by Bernard got JSU within two before Banks’ jumper sent the Jaguars into halftime with a 24-20 lead.
Follow Les East on Twitter @EastAdvocate.