LAS VEGAS — Southern held high-scoring Nebraska Omaha well below its average point total but still couldn’t keep up with the Mavericks in a 74-53 loss Tuesday at Cox Pavilion.
Omaha, which entered the game with an average of 86.9 points per game and has four 100-point games this season, improved to 8-6 as it won the visitors’ bracket of the Global Sports Classic. The Jaguars (8-5) don’t play again until they visit Texas Southern in the Southwestern Athletic Conference opener Jan. 2.
“We held them below their scoring average, but they held us way below ours,” said Southern coach Roman Banks, whose team entered the game averaging 81.0 points. “They were able to constantly dominate us on the inside.”
The Mavericks, who had a 43-31 rebounding advantage, jumped to a 15-3 lead on their way to a 39-24 halftime lead. They led by as many as 25 in the second half.
“They came out of the gate and jumped on us, and we never recovered,” Banks said. “I think they were one of the better defensive teams we’ve played, and they kept the pressure on us.”
Jaguars forward D’Adrian Allen suffered a foot injury four minutes into the game and did not return. He was on crutches after the game and was scheduled to have an X-ray Wednesday.
Southern forward Jared Sam had 18 points and eight rebounds and was named to the all-tournament team. Trelun Banks scored 12 points. Adrian Rodgers, the team’s leading scorer (16.7), had four points, and Shawn Prudhomme, the third-leading scorer (11.9), had three.
“We need at least one of them to play well,” Banks said. “Usually we get 15 and eight (points) or 15 and 10 from them.”
Banks said the week and a half between games comes at a good time for a team that has played nine road games in seven different states.
“We’ve played a lot of games and traveled a lot and guys have played a lot of minutes,” he said.
Banks added, “For the first time, I thought this team got beat in every area.”
Still, Banks said, he was pleased overall with Southern’s preconference performance, which featured wins against Mississippi State, Tulane, Southeastern Louisiana and Wyoming.
Omaha guard Tra-Deon Hollins scored a game-high 21 points, making 8-of-11 field-goal attempts and 4-of-4 free throws. He also had five rebounds, five assists, five steals and a block. Jake White added 16 points and six rebounds and Devin Patterson scored 14 points.
North Carolina Central, which lost to Southern on Monday, defeated Eastern Illinois 57-52 to claim third place in the tournament.