Isaiah Rollins missed a 3-pointer that would have given Southern the lead, and Jackson State made four free throws in the closing minutes to hold on for a 57-53 win over Southern at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
Southern (4-8, 4-4) got 11 points from Jayden Saddler. Terrell Williams added 10 points, and was one of three Jaguars with six rebounds.
Jackson State (6-5, 6-0) was led by Jayveous McKinnis with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The game was decided with key players from each team on the bench.
Southern was without guard Ashante Shivers, who injured his ankle Saturday on the final play of the game against Grambling.
In the second half, looking for a boost, Southern got one in an unlikely manner. Trailing 49-46 with 6:45 left to play, JSU’s Tristan Jarrett missed a 3-pointer, and stepped out of bounds after grabbing his the rebound under the goal.
Jarrett, who had scored 11 points at the time, then took off his jersey, a move that immediately caused him to be disqualified.
Southern responded by taking a 50-49 lead, its first since a 23-22 edge late in the first half. After Jackson State rallied to take a 55-52 lead with 2:30 left Southen misfired on two possessions opening the door for Jackson State to close out the win.
The first half was close throughout. Southern led for most of the half, and it led by four points twice, the first at 17-13.
But after Samkelo Cele’s two free throws gave Southern a 23-19 lead with five minutes left, the Jaguars came up empty. Southern missed its last six shots while Jackson State connected on 5 of 8.
The result was an 11-0 run by the Tigers that carried them to a 30-23 halftime lead.
Jackson State was able to push Southern around on the boards where it had a 26-15 edge, including 11 on the offensive end, in the opening half. Turnovers were even, but Southern was able to make up ground at the free throw line, where it made 11 of 13 attempts.