Southern wasn’t sure what to expect from Ecclesia College on Sunday afternoon.
But the Jaguars quickly found out that the Royals wanted to run and score, and Southern was happy to play along.
Ecclesia, a small program in the National Christian College Athletic Association, jumped to a couple of five-point leads in the early going before the Jaguars roared past and rolled to a 96-69 victory in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
“We knew they would play this like it was their championship game, and we had to stick with our principles,” Southern guard Trelun Banks said. “They hit some shots in the first few minutes, but we knew if we played consistent for 40 minutes we could wear them down, and that’s what happened.”
Southern had five players score in double figures as it improved to 7-2 heading into a game at Memphis on Tuesday. The Royals, located in Springdale, Ark., are 8-4.
Shawn Prudhomme came off the bench to lead the Jaguars with 17 points. Adrian Rodgers scored 14, LaQuentin Collins had 12 and D’Adrian Allen and Christopher Hyder scored 10 each. Hyder also had seven assists, five rebounds and three steals.
“Coach didn’t show us any film of them,” Prudhomme said. “It was a personal challenge for us to keep playing the way we’ve been playing. They came in with high intensity, and we have high energy coming off the bench and that got us going.”
Ecclesia used 15 players, and 12 of them scored, led by Jamarius Graves and David Gant Jr. with 12 points each and Dequcelan Bagsby with 10.
Both teams made 11 3-pointers, but the Royals had 32 attempts and the Jaguars had 20.
Southern’s point total matched the season-high set in a 33-point victory against Dillard on Nov. 30.
The Jaguars attacked on the inside, and the Royals attacked from the outside in a high-scoring first half.
Five of the Jaguars’ first six baskets came at the rim, but the Royals made three 3-pointers to take an early 17-12 lead.
“You try to prepare for a game like this the way you do for any other game, but young people sometimes want to win by 30 right away,” Southern coach Roman Banks said. “The game doesn’t work that way. So we just told them to keep playing possession by possession ,and that’s what happened in the first half.”
Southern tried its hand from the outside, and Prudhomme made two 3-pointers during a 14-2 run.
Prudhomme scored seven points, and Chris Thomas had six as the Jaguars built the lead to 42-28.
Bagsby scored on a drive to end an Ecclesia field-goal drought of more than four minutes before Collins heated up. Collins made three consecutive 3-pointers, then fed Rashad Andrews for a layup that sent Southern into halftime with a 57-35 lead.
“My teammates did a good job of finding me,” Collins said, “and I just took the shots that were open.”
The Jaguars led by as many as 40 in the second half, scoring 19 unanswered points in one five-minute stretch.
Follow Les East on Twitter, @EastAdvocate.