Coming into this weekend's contest, Southern stood alone atop the SWAC West as they continued their pre-conference schedule at Tennessee State in the Gentry Center. The Jags have started the season early by winning games they should have won and kept pace with quality teams such as Louisville and North Dakota en route to an overall record of 2-4 coming into the afternoon.
As they have against competition throughout the early season, Coach Sean Woods and the Southern Jaguars played the Tigers of Tennessee State competitively through the first half. The Jags held their edge throughout the game on the back of their three-point shooting.
The three-point barrage of the Jaguars, led by Tyrone Lyons, a junior guard from North Amityville, Néw York, really helped fuel the Jags. Coming into this game, averaging around 14 points per game on 57 percent from behind the arc, Lyons has become a dependable marksman for this year’s squad.
Despite shooting 5-10 from behind the arc led by Lyons, the first half saw the Jaguars shoot an inefficient 9-26 from the field. Despite losing the rebound battle to the Tigers in the first half and by 16 total on the night, the Jaguar’s defensive prowess in the clutch, along with their high efficiency from behind the arc, led the way.
After taking a 33-32 lead into the second half of play, the Jaguars came out with a scoring intensity led by sophomore forward Terrell Williams from Arlington, Texas, who led both teams in points in the half with 15 points and two three-pointers.
Southern kept stride with the Tigers as they continued their hot shooting streak from beyond the three-point line as the Jaguars shot 7-10 from three-point land in the second half of play. The second half consisted of six lead changes on the afternoon, saw both teams scrap for the lead, with no double-digit lead being held throughout the game’s entirety.
The Jaguars pulled out a close one in the second-half following a layup from P.J. Byrd in the closing seconds to get a two-point victory over the Tigers to reach 3-4 on the season as they seek to maintain their top spot in the early SWAC West rankings. The Jags will take on Lindsey Wilson at home on December 9 as they look to continue to build chemistry leading up to the in-conference competition in the spring.