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Southern's Aaron Ray shoots as Wiley's Traylin Prejean defends during Wednesday's game at the F.G. Clark Activity Center on Wednesday.

Advocate photo by April Buffington

Southern star forward Jared Sam scrambled to collect a rolling ball as less than 2 seconds waned to 0 on the F.G. Clark Activity Center's scoreboard.

Sam's hustle turned into a fadeaway 3-point heave as the buzzer rang throughout Southern's home arena, signaling the end of Wednesday's first half and adding emphasis to Southern's first blowout win of the season — a 92-69 win over Wiley College, an NAIA Red River Athletic Conference school from Marshall, Texas.

"Guys made plays tonight," Southern first-year coach Morris Scott said.

Sam's play set Southern to a 48-29 lead at halftime, pacing the Jaguars to their second consecutive win in Baton Rouge after they dropped five straight road games to begin the season.

Including his buzzer-beating prayer of a 3-pointer, Sam steered the Jaguars once again with a game-high 24 points and 13 rebounds, his fourth 20-point outing and second double-double in seven games this season.

"I just know my team needs me to score every night, so that's what I try to do," Sam said.

Guard LaQuentin Collins had a season-high 15 points and and forward Emanuel Shepherd a season-high 13 points.

The Jaguars (2-5) were sitting pretty in all areas of the box score throughout Wednesday's win.

Southern scored 79 of its 92 total points off turnovers, second-chance points and a whopping 36 from its bench.

Turnovers? Southern committed 10 and scored 25 points off Wiley College's giveaways.

Bench points? Southern had the most of those, too, earning nearly a quarter of its offensive production from reserves.

"We're just trying to help the starters out, that's all," Collins said.

Aaron Ray returned from a four-game absence, dating to Southern's loss at Missouri State on Nov. 15, because of a mild concussion. The 6-foot-2 junior scored a season-high 10 points in 13 minutes.

"It was good to get Aaron Ray back," Scott said. "It was a good game for him to come back and get some reps in."


Southern women at Oklahoma State

Southern (1-2) is scheduled to play its fourth game at Oklahoma State on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Jaguars began this season with a home win against the University of Mobile before losing at Indiana on Nov. 14 and a 77-74 loss at Wisconsin on Nov. 20, their most recent game.

Oklahoma State, which has won 52 consecutive regular-season home games against nonconference opponents, returns to play its first game since the Cowgirls faced Texas and South Dakota in Cancun, Mexico, on Nov. 23-24.