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From left, Southern's Chris Thomas (4) and Jackson State's Paris Collins (5) and Maurice Rivers (12) vie for control of the ball in the second half of a SWAC tournament quarterfinal, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, at Southern University's F. G. Clark Activity Center in Baton Rouge, La. Southern defeated Jackson State 69-63.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

Even in his first season as Southern’s coach, Morris Scott understands the value of home court.

Winning in Baton Rouge is imperative for Southern, which has lost 11 consecutive road games.

Through 16 games, Baton Rouge is the only place Southern's claimed a victory.

“We talked about it all week, about still protecting home and trying to keep winning at home,” Scott said Saturday. “You have to do that to stay in the race for a title or a championship in league play.”

As the Jaguars (5-11, 1-2 Southwestern Athletic Conference) become healthier, they added win No. 5 in a 80-69 win against Grambling on Saturday, beginning a two-game homestand with the first SWAC victory of Scott's maiden season as head coach. The Jaguars will seek another when they host Jackson State at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

“It was just good to have a more healthier team out there,” Scott said. “We could’ve used everybody.”

The Jaguars sidelined starting senior guard Chris Thomas for a second consecutive game after he rolled his ankle in Southern's SWAC opener at Texas Southern on Jan. 1.

Thomas, who started testing and running on the swollen ankle as early as Friday, completed that game in Houston, but did not play in Southern’s past two games as the ankle began swelling after the loss on New Year’s Day.

“Hopefully we’ll get him back in full swing on Monday,” Scott said. “It’s just been real tough to have guys going in and out of the lineup for different reasons, for sickness, injuries or everything like that.”

Southern women vs. Jackson State, 5:30 p.m.

Southern's women will begin Monday’s doubleheader with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff against Jackson State at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

The Jaguars (3-9, 2-1 SWAC) pounded Grambling 63-44 on Saturday, earning a second conference win against the school’s archrival.

“It’s always good to beat a rivalry team like that at home,” said Southern star forward Briana Green, who notched her seventh consecutive double-figure scoring night with 15 points, after the game.

“It’s always amazing. It’s a great feeling. We’re going to celebrate this win tonight, but it’s back to square one tomorrow. We have a game Monday against Jackson State. They’re going to try to come in here and beat us, so we have to prepare for them as well.”