BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Southern University forward Emanuel Sheperd's putback with 8.2 seconds in overtime nearly gave the Jaguars a signature non-conference win over University of Alabama Birmingham Sunday.
But UAB forward Chris Cokley's catch-and-release tip-in at the buzzer shot down the Jaguars upset bid.
Three players finished in double figures for Southern led by senior guard Tre’Lun Banks' game high 20 points and 5 assists in 43 minutes of play in a 75-74 overtime loss to the Blazers in front of 3,436 fans at Bartow Arena.
Down 73-70, Sheperd score on a follow shot after corralling a rebound off Weatherspoon's blocked shot. After both offenses stalled over the final 2:29, Sheperd found the ball after a Jared Sam miss to give SU a 74-73 lead before Cokley's last-second heroics.
Sheperd, who emerged into the starting lineup after coming off the bench the first eight games of the season, scored a career high 13 points and seven rebounds and Shawn Prudhomme chips in 12 points. The Jaguars outrebounded the Blazers 46-42 led by Prudhomme and Jared Sam collecting nine boards each.
Defensively, Southern held the Blazers to 37 percent shooting and that defensive effort help the Jaguars keep with striking distance despite trailing for most of the game.
The Jaguars took their first lead at 49-48 off a Chris Thomas three-point basket with the 10:19 left in the game. After a pair of Shawn Prudhomme free throws, UAB erupted to reel off a 7-0 run to regain a 55-51 lead with 8:20 left.
Following a Roman Banks called timeout, the Jaguars regained their confidence to match the Blazers shot-for-shot down the stretch. Shawn Prudhomme connected on a 3 before William Lee responded with a 3 for the Blazers. JaMarcus Weatherspoon's layup cut the lead to two before Lee drain his second 3 of the game to give UAB a 62-57 lead with 4:42.
Banks' 3-pointer ignited a 10-5 run that was punctuated by a Weatherspoon’s baseline floater with 34 seconds in regulation to force overtime with the score tied at 67.
Dirk Williams came off the bench for the Blazers to shoot a whopping 50% from behind the arc and pouring in 15 points in 31 minutes. William Lee also scored 15 points while Chris Cokley chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds, none bigger than what he provided on the games decisive play.
The Jaguars will look to rebound from Sunday's gut-wrenching defeat to face Nebraska Tuesday, December 20th at 7:00 pm in Lincoln, Neb. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Fans are urged to keep current with the Men's Basketball program by following the Jaguars on Twitter at @JaguarHoops and @southernjaguarhoops on Instagram.
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