The Southern men’s basketball team rolled to its fourth Southwestern Athletic Conference victory in as many games in a 60-36 win against Jackson State on Monday night in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
Calvin Godfrey had a double-double with game-highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds, and the Jaguars defense swarmed the Tigers offense, holding it to 24.5 percent shooting.
Southern, 8-9 overall, visits Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday. JSU is 5-11 and 1-3.
“We’ve been trying to work hard on our defense since the summer,” Jaguars coach Roman banks said. “I think we have the length and size to be a good defensive team. We’ve been trying to build that up.
“This team is starting to get better.”
The Jaguars forced 18 turnovers, but committed 16. Still they enjoyed a 23-2 advantage on points off of turnovers. They outrebounded the Tigers 50-36.
Tre Lynch was the only other Jaguar to score in double figures, coming off the bench to score 10 points. Seven Southern players scored between four and 14 points, and Southern’s bench outscored JSU’s 20-4.
Julysses Noble led the Tigers with 14 points, and Brandon West, from Cheneyville, had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The victory followed a similar script to the one Southern used Saturday night when it took a 10-point lead on Grambling after six minutes and maintained a comfortable cushion throughout.
“Defense is all about intensity, and we emphasized playing with intensity,” Lynch said. “We played at every position like we’re supposed to.
“It we play that way at all five positions, we should be able to win every night. It’s always good to start 4-0, but we have a long way to go.”
The Jaguars led by 13 at halftime and quickly extended the lead early in the second. The Tigers knocked one point off the deficit before hitting a drought.
The Jaguars routinely got free inside. Javan Mitchell made a layup, Godfrey sandwiched two layups around one by Damien Goodwin before Trelun Banks added another layup.
JSU finally found a way to stop the series of layups when it fouled Godfrey before he could make one, but he hit one of the two free throws for a 46-23 cushion. Janarius Middleton’s layup ended the Tigers drought.
The Jaguars yielded just four more baskets, the final one coming on Dominique Brothern’s 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Southern took a 33-20 halftime lead as JSU shot just 26.9 percent from the floor and made just 1-of-8 3-pointers in the first half.
Nobles scored seven points to lead the Tigers to a 12-9 lead before they went cold.
The Jaguars went on a 22-6 run to take a 31-18 lead. Lynch and Godfrey had six points each, and six Southern players scored during the run.
West made a layup, and Lynch answered with two free throws as Southern maintained its 13-point edge going into halftime.