Someone had to win.
Following Saturday’s 78-76 overtime loss at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Southern's losing streak on the road evened at 12 consecutive games. The Jaguars entered Monday’s 78-70 win at Mississippi Valley State 0-12 on the road, still searching for a win away from Baton Rouge.
The Jaguars were one of the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s four teams yet to collect a road win.
Mississippi Valley, which had a 17-game losing streak prior to Monday’s tip, was 0-2 at home and 0-17 overall before Southern arrived in Itta Bena, Mississippi.
In this case: Someone had to win. But, really, someone else didn’t have to lose.
For the first time this season, Southern and first-year coach Morris Scott earned a win away from Baton Rouge, sludging through a eight-point win to send Mississippi Valley State to 0-18, the worst in the SWAC.
Sitting at the bottom of the SWAC’s leaderboard with five in-conference losses and zero wins, Mississippi Valley State presented as winnable a road game as the Jaguars (6-13, 2-4 SWAC) have had all season.
“We’ve got to find a way to go on the road and win a couple of games to get back in the race,” Scott said before the win/loss split road trip.
Southern trailed for much of Monday’s second half by minor deficits before it was able to knot a 59-59 tie with 1:30 remaining. The Jaguars snagged a 61-59 lead with less than 70 seconds to go, held the two-point advantage until the final 10 seconds and a first road win for Southern appeared well within reach.
Then, with 0:02 seconds remaining, the Delta Devils chipped in a running layup to take Southern to overtime for the Jaguars' second game in a row.
Southern didn't falter.
It stood tall for its second overtime in three days, winning the free-throw-heavy fist fight to capture a first victory outside the state of Louisiana.