Southern ended two losing streaks Thursday night.
The Jaguars defeated Texas Southern 84-79 in the F.G. Clark Activity Center to end their first three-game Southwestern Athletic Conference losing streak in coach Roman Banks’ five seasons.
They also snapped a five-game losing streak against the Tigers (16-13, 15-2), who already had clinched the SWAC regular-season title.
“We needed a win,” Banks said, “and we needed a win against a quality opponent.”
Southern (19-11, 11-6) concludes the regular-season when it hosts Prairie View on Saturday. The Jaguars improved to 12-0 at home.
“We were really motivated by our home-court,” guard Adrian Rodgers said. “Coach told us all week to put those three games behind us and protect our home court so we can stay perfect here.”
The Jaguars shot 55.7 percent from the floor and took the lead for good with more than 13 minutes remaining.
Shawn Prudhomme came off the bench to lead Southern with a career-high 28 points, making 12-of-17 field goals, including 3-of-7 3-pointers. Rodgers scored 25 and Trelun Banks had 11.
“The key for me was I came out early with defensive intensity,” Prudhomme said. “Then my teammates got me some open shots, and I was able to make them.”
Chris Thomas led the Tigers with 22, Malcolm Riley scored 21, making 7-of-11 field goals and 5-of-8 3-pointers, and Jose Rodriguez scored 12 off the bench.
The Southern bench, which had been outscored by its counterparts 88-47 and outrebounded 38-32 during the losing streak, outscored the TSU bench 34-21 outrebounded it 12-3.
The score was tied at halftime before Riley converted a three-point play and made a 3-pointer to help TSU to a 56-53 lead.
Then the Tigers went nearly five minutes without scoring and Southern took advantage. Rodgers made a jumper, fed Prudhomme for a layup and scored on a feed from Christopher Hyder.
Jared Sam and Prudhomme made consecutive layups to conclude a 10-0 run that gave the Jaguars a 63-56 lead.
Rodriguez ended TSU’s drought by making a layup and he added another basket on a drive and a three-point play to get the Tigers within four with 6:35 left.
In a span of 51 seconds, Rodgers made two jumpers, a steal and a layup and Southern had a 10-point lead with 5:23 left.
“I was aggressive in the halfcourt because we needed a basket and my teammates look to me for that,” Rodgers said. “They helped me get open.”
The Tigers chipped away at the lead as Sam missed two free throws and Hyder missed the front ends of two one-and-ones.
Thomas scored five points as TSU got within two points with 1:22 left.
Prudhomme’s 3-pointer and two free throws by Sam pushed the lead to seven with 39 seconds left.