The basketball season for the Southern Jags is approaching it’s apex as the Jags traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to participate in the Cayman Island Classic - Mainland Tournament.
Despite dropping their first game of the tournament to Omaha, Southern still has one more opportunity to get back on the road with a win. In the midst of their current 11-game road stretch, the Jags went into Tuesday’s game looking to improve their win percentage before the start of SWAC play.
The first half of play saw a closely contested game between the two squads as Southern trailed for most of the half. Despite a strong offensive half for Southern’s Lamarcus Lee who finished the half with 11 points, the Jags went into the break trailing IUPUI 42-38.
The second half of play saw Southern’s bench catch fire and match IUPUI play for play down the stretch. Brendon Brooks and Damiree Burns combined for 20 second half points for Southern.
While there was scoring in bunches for Southern throughout the night, the story of the game came from a dominant showing from the bench. Outscoring IUPUI 45–19 on the night, the bench for Southern was able to hit their three’s and knock down their free throws in route to an efficient overall night.
Leading the bench’s dynamic scoring run was Brendon Brooks who finished the night with 14 points. Contributions from the bench unit specifically gave the Jags the extra scoring pinch they needed to pull away late.
“I thought we played really well in stretches,” said head coach Sean Woods on his main takeaways from the night. “We started the game with a lot of energy but we have to learn to sustain it, we have a lot of new players and we are trying to find our rhythm and still learning to play hard for 40 minutes,” continued Woods.
The Jags defeated IUPUI with a score of 83-77, but lost to Tulane in New Orleans Sunday to bring their overall record to 4-5 on the season.
“These games will help test our toughness and help us learn a lot about ourselves, as we keep growing and learning, these games will help prepare us for Southwestern Athletic Conference play,” said Woods.