Southern used a balanced offense to beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 66-58 on Saturday night in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
Eight of the nine Jaguars who played scored, none of them scored fewer than five points and none scored more than 12. Southern had 13 assists on 24 field goals.
Southern’s top three scorers in Southwestern Athletic Conference play — Adrian Rodgers, Trelun Banks and Christopher Hyder — are averaging a combined 42.5 points but combined for 27 on Saturday.
“A lot of people have just been worrying about me, Adrian and Trelun and leaving other players open, so we wanted to get them going,” Hyder said. “That’s good because it gets everybody’s confidence going.”
Rodgers scored the Jaguars first eight points, but didn’t score during the final 16½ minutes of the first half. Rashad Andrews and Tony Nunn each had six first-half points as Southern consistently got good looks in the lane against the Golden Lions’ zone.
“We wanted to penetrate to the basket instead of settling for outside shots,” said Andrews, who finished with eight points.
Rodgers had a team-high 12, Hyder 10, and Nunn and Shawn Prudhomme nine each.
“Rodgers is our leading scorer, but we don’t want to get the ball stuck there either,” coach Roman Banks said. “I spoke to the team about other guys being a little more aggressive and understanding where their aggression needs to come from and the shots they need to take that play into their talent.”
The Jaguars (9-3 in the SWAC and 17-8 overall) host Mississippi Valley State on Monday.
Ghiavonni Robinson led the Golden Lions (4-8, 6-20) with 17 points and Marcus Wallace scored 12.
Southern made 12 of its first 15 field-goal attempts in the second half before missing its last seven.
“I thought we played kind of tight down the stretch,” coach Banks said.
Hyder took control early in the second half as Southern extended its seven-point halftime lead.
He made the Jaguars first basket, fed Rodgers for a layup and scored on a drive as the lead grew to 11.
Hyder made 3-of-4 free throws and fed Prudhomme for a layup and a 3-pointer as the lead expanded to 19 with eight minutes left.
UAPB chipped away and trimmed the deficit to 11 with 4:50 left. Nunn missed 1-of-2 free throws, Hyder and Rodgers each missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Hyder dribbled the ball out of bounds.
That helped the Golden Lions get within six with a minute left, but with four seconds left on the shot clock, they fouled Andrews and he made both free throws. Jared Sam made one free throw and Hyder made two to complete the scoring.
“I thought we played not to lose the ball game instead of playing to win the ball game,” coach Banks said. “With seven minutes left I think they wanted to take the air from under it and we stopped being aggressive.”
Andrews keyed two first-half scoring runs by the Jaguars.
UAPB had its final lead at 12-11 before Andrews made consecutive baskets from the lane to start an 8-0 run. The Golden Lions climbed within four before Andrews scored again from the lane to start a 6-0 run.
Robinson made a 3-pointer at the buzzer, leaving Southern with a 32-25 halftime lead.