Southern men’s basketball coach Roman Banks has been looking for more consistency from his team all season.
The Jaguars (4-11) were up and down during a pre-conference schedule comprising 10 road games and four home games.
Even though Southern won its Southwestern Athletic Conference opener against Prairie View 68-56 on Saturday, its performance had its ups and downs as well.
“It’s always been about consistency for us,” Banks said. “Being consistent, playing hard, playing tough, challenging each shot, coming down and challenging them back on the offensive end. We’ve got to start being consistent.”
The Jaguars will try to establish some consistency when they host Texas Southern on Monday in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Tip-off is 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
Southern led by as many as six points early against Prairie View, but its turnovers mounted to 13 as the Panthers took a five-point halftime lead. Prairie View led by three midway through the second half before the Jaguars went on a pivotal 18-3 run.
The defensive intensity picked up during the run, the turnovers dwindled to six after halftime, and the Jaguars made 17 of their last 21 free throws. So Southern wound up winning fairly easily despite the uneven performance.
“We’ve got to play a focused 40 minutes,” said guard Trelun Banks, who scored a game-high 17 points Saturday, “and not 30 minutes or 35 minutes, but be focused throughout.”
Southern endured a lot of ups and downs during the challenging pre-conference schedule.
“(Coach Banks) talks about consistency all the time,” guard Christopher Hyder said. “We go out there and play hard, but we’re up and down so consistency is big with us.
“(SWAC play) is definitely a second season. All the other games go out the window. Conference is the only thing that counts really.”
Texas Southern (4-10) finished strong in its own challenging pre-conference schedule, beating then-No. 25 Michigan State by seven, losing to Auburn by one point, beating Kansas State by two and losing to New Mexico State by two.
The Tigers won their conference opener at Alcorn State 72-55 on Saturday.
Last season, the road team won both meetings as Southern won 79-71 in Houston and Texas Southern won 67-64 in the Clark Activity Center.
The Jaguars are playing consecutive home games for the fist time since their first two games of the season.
“We need to take what we’ve learned and put it all together,” Trelun Banks said.
Follow Les East on Twitter @EastAdvocate.