BATON ROUGE -- Southern University's defense came alive in the second half, holding Florida A&M University to 30 percent shooting and nine turnovers resulting in 19 points off of those second-half turnovers to defeat FAMU 68-50 Thursday night at the Clifford Seymour Gym.
The Jags came out the gate sluggish, allowing the Rattlers to take a 4-0 point lead and momentum in the first minutes of the game. Southern's Eddie Reese got the Jaguars on the board with a shot from beyond the arc, to bring the game within one. The teams went into a tug-a-war favoring FAMU when Southern took a 13-12 lead on Jared Sam's eight-foot jumper with 11:30 left in the half.
Southern and Florida A&M continued to exchange baskets over the next four minutes when FAMU's Elijah Mayes hit a three-pointer to extend the Rattlers lead to 21-17 with six minutes left in the half. The Rattlers would go on a 10-4 run, to extend their lead to 10 with 2-minutes left in the half. Sam recorded a jumper and converted on two free throws to send the Jaguars into intermission down 31-25.
Southern struggled mightily from the floor shooting 30 percent from the floor (8-for-26), and 28 percent from beyond the arc. FAMU recorded 48 percent from the floor (14-of-23) and 50 percent (5-of-10) from beyond the arc. FAMU regained a 38-37 lead on a Desmond Williams jumper to counter Southern's 12-4 run to open the second half.
Southern regained the momentum cementing a 12-7 run on an Eddie Reese ally-opp dunk from Jamar Sandifer off a FAMU turnover and Sandifer steals to give a Jaguars a 49-45 lead with eight minutes to go in regulations, causing the head coach from FAMU to call a timeout.
Southern went on a 19-5 rout to end the game and delivery a signature win for interim head coach Morris Scott over his alma mater.
SU shot 48 percent from the floor in the second half. The defense held FAMU to 20 percent shooting, recording 5 steals, and forcing nine turnovers. The Jags recorded 15 defensive rebounds, Emanuel Shepherd had seven of those.
Emanuel Shepherd recorded his first double-double of the season (10 points and 13 rebounds), Sidney returned to the Jags lineup for the first time this season recording a team-high 14 points, Sandifer and Sam each scored 13 and Reese scored 10 to go with a game-high six assists.
The Jaguars recorded 14 total steals while forcing 24 turnovers converting 28 points.
The return to Clifford Seymour Gym proved to be fruitful for the Jaguars. After 12 years and four days since the last time Southern has played in Seymour - a 63-47 rout over Louisiana Tech -, the Jags extended their home win streak to three under first-year head coach Morris Scott and snapped a three-game losing skid.
The men's basketball program will continue the celebration through Friday morning as senior forward Jared Sam is one of 25 SU student-athletes graduating. Sam was recognized following the Jaguars 18-point win for scoring is 1,000th point against North Carolina Central earlier this season.
Southern University will be back in action versus No. 20 Baylor University Wednesday, December 20 in Waco, Texas. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.