HOUSTON — Even when the 3-pointers weren’t falling, Texas Southern was still turning them into three-point plays.
Texas Southern hit 10 3-pointers in the second half and turned another 3-point miss into an offensive rebound, putback and pivotal three-point play.
All in all, defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Texas Southern outshot and outrebounded Southern in a dominating 88-66 victory at H&PE Arena on Saturday.
“We didn’t match their execution and intensity tonight,” Southern coach Roman Banks said.
“At the end of the day, they were much more ready to play than we were. Coming to their home court, they were determined to be ready.”
Chris Thomas scored 25 points, including three 3-pointers, while Jose Rodriguez added another 18 points and three 3-pointers to lead the Tigers.
Adrian Rodgers led Southern (8-6, 0-1) with 14 points. Jared Sam had 12, while Trelun Banks had 11, Tony Nuun 10 and Chris Thomas 10.
The Tigers (2-11, 1-0) entered the second half up 36-28, but outscored the Jaguars 52-38 in a second half that included a barrage of 3-pointers that made the difference.
“They were just locked in tonight and we weren’t,” Trelun Banks said. “They came out and threw the punch and we didn’t punch back.”
The biggest punch came on a missed 3-pointer midway through the second half.
Southern had cut the lead to seven when TSU’s Orlando Coleman launched a 3-pointer that went in and out of the rim.
TSU’s Derrick Griffin swooped in past three Southern defenders for the offensive rebound and putback.
Southern’s defense got there just in time to foul Griffin and he completed the three-point play to give the Tigers a double-digit lead they would not relinquish.
Coleman led the Tigers with four 3-pointers, while Malcolm Riley added three more. David Blanks also scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for TSU.
“They had guys scoring that hadn’t shot that well all season long,” Roman Banks said. “That’s what it takes when you are ready.
“Either they shot it better than they’ve ever shot, or our defense is that bad. We will look at the film and figure that one out.”
Southern’s loss to TSU was the fifth straight in the series — including three last year — dating to the 2013-14 season.
“We just got beat, that’s all there is to it,” Rodgers said.
The Jaguars allowed the Tigers to shoot 50 percent from the field, including 13 of 27 from 3-point range.
Texas Southern also outrebounded the Jaguars 47-50 and finished with 23 assist to the Jaguars’ eight.
“Rebounds has been an Achilles’ heel for us all season long and we just have to get better at that,” Roman Banks said.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, were only 3 of 14 on 3-pointers, after entering the game leading the conference in shooting.
“You just have to learn from it,” Roman Banks said. “You look at this film and try to see how you can get better with your guys and carry it over. I think that we all know where we can get better.”
Southern will get that chance Monday night against Prairie View, which lost 73-70 to Alcorn State on Saturday.