PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — Southern came into Monday night’s basketball game as the top offensive team in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Prairie View entered the contest without a victory in 13 tries this season.
Both of those changed Monday night at the William Nicks Building.
Jayrn Johnson hit four 3-pointers late in the second half, and the Panthers celebrated their first win of the season, a 71-65 victory over the Jaguars.
“Right now, we are just a bad basketball team,” Southern coach Roman Banks said.
“We have a lot of potential, but right now we are on the downside of potential. We have got to all step up. We need to get some guys that are potentially good to be good.”
While Prairie View’s 3-pointers down the stretch made the difference, the Jaguars missed their first 11 shots from 3-point range and finished just 2-of-16.
“We just didn’t’ make plays,” Banks said. “We missed some 3s, but it doesn’t take talent to play good defense, box out and challenge people for 40 minutes.
“I don’t feel like we are doing that as a team. We have two or three doing it, but they aren’t going to last a full season doing that. We need more contributions.”
Trelun Banks and Christopher Hyder each had 16 points for the Jaguars (8-7, 0-2), who return from their two-game Texas trip winless.
Zachary Hamilton scored 12 points, and Admassu Williams added 10 for the Panthers (1-13, 1-1).
“I’m real excited for our team, but it’s just one game and we have a long way to go,” Prairie View coach Byron Rimm II said. “We have a really good basketball team. We’ve just had a lot of injuries.”
Southern came in as the top scoring team in the SWAC at 73.7 points per game. The Jaguars were also leading the SWAC in 3-point percentage at 37 percent.
Neither of those were on display Monday night. Banks finished 1-of-6 from 3-point range, while Rodgers was 1-of-5.
“You depend on Banks to play the best offensive player on the other team and score points, but something has to give,” Roman Banks said. “You need someone off the bench to take the pressure off.”
No Southern players were willing to talk to the media after the game.
Prairie View led 33-27 at the half, with Hamilton leading the way with a game-high 10 points. The Panthers closed the half on a 14-8 run after the teams were tied at 19.
Southern entered halftime 0-f0r-9 from 3-point range and had just four points from the bench. Trelun Banks and Adrian Rodgers each had eight points to lead the way.
Prairie View jumped out to a double-digit lead after Williams’ three-point play gave the Panthers a 40-29 lead.
After missing their first 11 3-pointers, the Jaguars finally got one from Rodgers, which cut Prairie View’s lead to 46-40 with 11:59 to play.
Trelun Banks brought the Jaguars to within two after a three-point play made the score 46-44 with 9:46 left.
Prairie View got its first 3-pointer, after missing the first seven, from Johnson to bring the lead back to 5 with 8:20 left.
Another Johnson 3-pointer extended the lead to 55-46 with under seven minutes remaining.
A Trelun Banks 3-pointer brought the Jaguars back within 6 at 55-49.
Southern had to rely on a small lineup down the stretch, with both Jared Sam and Tony Nunn picking up their fourth fouls midway through the second half.
A third 3-pointer by Johnson extended the lead to 62-53 with 4:18 left.
Southern drew within 5 again on a Shawn Prudhomme follow through with 1:30 left.
One final 3-pointer from Johnson made it 71-63 with just under a minute left, the final blow to the Jaguars.
The Panthers celebrated their first win of the season in a big way at center court, while the Jaguars jogged off to the locker room with their heads down.
“Things are really bad for us right now,” Roman Banks said. “I think it is time to go into panic mode to see what we can do.”
Southern’s next test will be against rival Grambling at home Saturday.
“You have to start preparing for Grambling, but I need to work on Southern and fix whatever is wrong with us first,” Roman Banks said. “We need to shake some things up.”