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Southern men hold on in final minutes to beat Alabama State 79-73

Southern men hold on in final minutes to beat Alabama State 79-73
Posted By: Elynor Moss on February 21, 2017

The Southern men’s basketball team wasn’t in trouble until it was.

The Jaguars almost blew an 18-point lead late in the second half, needing a late technical foul call on the Alabama State coach to stave off a last-minute comeback bid by the Hornets in Southwestern Athletic Conference men's basketball.

Southern point guard Tre’lun Banks made both free throws to clinch a 79-73 win at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

“I knew it would go down to the stretch,” Southern coach Roman Banks said. “We didn’t actually rebound the ball well. I thought we played a little bit, made a few stops, but if we rebound the basketball a little bit, we can go down to the other end. We didn’t let the ball through, and they were able to take the ball out of our hands a couple of times and get three-point plays.”

Southern has often struggled this season maintaining large leads down the stretch, and Monday night was no different.

The Jaguars led by as much as 56-38 with under 14 minutes to play, but the Hornets (8-18, 6-8) outscored Southern 35-23 in the final 10 minutes to make it a game.

“We understand it’s a game of runs and we’ve got to weather the storm,” Southern junior guard Chris Thomas said. “They did make a good run, but we made some plays at the end and, fortunately, we pulled it through.”

Thomas led the Southern (14-14, 10-5) with 19 points, which ties the career high he set against Georgia Tech earlier this season.

The performance also ends senior Shawn Prudhomme’s 10-game run as the Jaguars’ leading scorer.

But even if he wasn’t the leading scorer, Prudhomme wasn’t too far behind Thomas with 18 points and five rebounds.

However, not being one to brag about himself, Thomas stuck to his usual humble self.

“It was pretty good. Could’ve been better,” Thomas said. “Really my defense anchors my offense. I get it on defense and my offense comes with it.”

To go with his 19 points, Thomas also had seven rebounds, two shy of his career high set against Tulane earlier this season, two blocks and four assists.

The Jaguars are back in action on Saturday against Alcorn State.

FOLLOW MIKE GEGENHEIMER ON TWITTER, @MIKE_GEGS.
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