Southern rebounded from each of its first two losses of the season with an impressive road victory.
After losing at Arkansas 86-68 in the season opener Nov. 13, the Jaguars came back three days later and won at Mississippi State 76-72.
After losing at Grand Canyon University 70-56 on Dec. 8, Southern came back two days later and won at Wyoming 68-58.
The Jaguars (7-3) will try and rebound in similar fashion when they play at Louisiana Tech at 6:30 p.m. Friday, just three days after a 72-67 loss at Memphis.
“I wasn’t happy with the outcome, but I was happy with the intensity we showed,” Southern coach Roman Banks said. “It shows us we’ve got to be more consistent. We’ve got to find a way to win.”
Sophomore forward Jared Sam had career-highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Jaguars against Memphis. Sam is playing more center this season, although he continues to start at power forward.
Banks said being in the post has created more one-on-one opportunities for Sam, and he took advantage against the Tigers.
“Jared’s a pretty smart guy,” Banks said. “He’s getting more productive at center. He’s continuing to get open in the post, and that has made him more effective.”
Southern has been able to open up the inside with effective perimeter shooting. The Jaguars’ three double-figure scorers are perimeter players — guards Adrian Rodgers (15.9 points per game) and Trelun Banks (13.1) and forward Shawn Prudhomme (12.4).
Those three have combined to take 82 percent of Southern’s 3-pointers and they have made 42 percent of their attempts.
Louisiana Tech is 8-2 after a 99-80 loss to Ole Miss on Tuesday night in Oxford, Miss.
“We need to be a better defensive team,” Bulldogs coach Eric Konkol said. “Most of all, we need to improve at preventing penetration and finishing the possession with a rebound.”
The Bulldogs are 55-1 at home since February 2012, the best homecourt record in the country during that span.
“It’s a tricky game,” Banks said. “We’ve got to be careful. You can play very well and still come up short, but I think we’ll respond.”
Tech’s first loss of the season came at Memphis (94-68) on Dec. 1. The Bulldogs’ next game came against a Southwestern Athletic rival of the Jaguars — Jackson State — and Tech won 95-88 in double overtime.
The Bulldogs leads the all-time series 4-2, having won each of the last two seasons, including a 85-76 victory in the season opener last year in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.