Alabama A&M brought the leading scorer in the Southwestern Athletic Conference into the F.G. Clark Activity Center on Monday night.
But Southern neutralized Ladarius Tabb, not only holding him to eight points, 13 below his season average, but also by having four Jaguars outscore him.
Adrian Rodgers scored a game-high 20 points, Christopher Hyder had 14 and Rashad Andrews and Trelun Banks had 10 each as Southern beat the Bulldogs 73-52.
“We had individuals step up against him, but it was all about team defense,” Southern coach Roman Banks said. “I don’t think you can ever stop him, but I thought we controlled him and got him out of his rhythm.”
Tabb made 3-of-9 shots and missed all four of his 3-pointers, playing just 20 minutes because of foul trouble and the lopsided margin. Quinterian McConico came off the bench to lead AAMU with 12 points, and Nicholas West scored 10.
Andrews drew Tabb first and Chris Thomas was next in line when Andrews, who fouled out with 1:15 left, went to the bench.
“It gave me confidence to be more aggressive against him, knowing I would get help from my teammates,” Andrews said. “He’s got a high motor, so he’s always on the go.”
Southern, 6-2 in the SWAC and 14-7 overall after winning its sixth straight game, will host Alcorn State on Saturday. AAMU is 2-5 and 6-10.
The Jaguars held the Bulldogs to 33 percent shooting (17-of-51), including 18.2 percent (4-of-22) on 3-pointers.
AAMU is the second-highest scoring team in the SWAC, and its point total was its lowest this season, marking just the third time the Bulldogs scored fewer than 60 points.
“We wanted to slow them down in transition and make them grind it out in the half-court,” coach Banks said. “That’s a team that can score very quickly.”
Southern used a 16-5 run late in the first half to take a 36-25 halftime lead.
“At halftime, coach told us to stay focused,” Hyder said. “In the past we’ve played this team and gotten a lead and they’ve come back on us.”
Three times early in the second half AAMU got the deficit to nine points and each time the Jaguars pushed the lead back to double figures on their next possession.
The third time Rodgers and Andrews made back-to-back 3-pointers to give Southern a 50-35 lead.
McConico scored on a put-back and Webb scored from the lane, but Southern answered with seven straight points.
Webb went to the bench after committing his fourth foul with 11:38 left and the Jaguars leading 57-39. He didn’t return as Southern maintained a comfortable margin.
“We wanted to show him different looks and confuse him,” Hyder said. “Slwoing him down was a big part of our success.”
The first half featured a series of runs by both teams.
AAMU scored the first four points before Southern went on a 10-0 run that featured a 3-pointer by Rodgers and a three-point play by Trelun Banks.
The Bulldogs responded with an 8-0 run that featured consecutive baskets by McConico.
The Jaguars scored six straight points and the score was tied at 20 with six minutes left in the half.
Rodgers’ 3-pointer started and Banks’ 3-pointer concluded a 10-run that gave Southern a 30-20 lead.
Webb scored four straight points, including the Bulldogs’ only field goal in the final 8½ minutes.
The Jaguars had the final run as Hyder scored four points during a 6-0 run that sent Southern into halftime with the 11-point lead.
“We knew they liked to crash the offensive boards,” Rodgers said. “So when we got a defensive rebound we were looking to push the ball up the court and we got some good looks either on 3-pointers or guys taking it to the basket.”
Follow Les East on Twitter, @EastAdvocate.