Tuscaloosa, Al.| The Sean Woods era kicked off as the Southern University Jaguars opened the season versus the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, led by former Southern University great Avery Johnson at the Coleman Coliseum, Tuesday night. Southern dropped the opening game 84-62.
Southern's Sydney Umude scored the first basket 18 seconds into the season. Alabama answered back in their first possession to tie the game at two-apiece.
Southern kept pace over the next ten minutes when Umude scored on a mid-range jumper to close the gap, 18-20 with 9:31 left before intermission. The Jags shot 1-for-11 from the floor, and 0-for-6 from the beyond the arc. SU took twelve shots from the charity stripe connecting on nine. Alabama, on the other hand, pulled away on 6-of-11 shooting and connecting on 11-of-14 from the charity stripe. Alabama went on a 13-1 run to end the half and take a 45-27 lead at intermission.
Southern matched well statistically with the Crimson Tide in the second half, both squads shot 43 percent from the floor, the glaring difference was the three-point percentage, Alabama led that category 40 to Southern's 16 percent.
In the second half, Alabama rode their first-half momentum going on a 13-12 run with 7:21 left in regulation to take a 71-45 lead.
Southern's senior guards Eddie Reese and Aaron Ray paced the Jaguars with 16 points and 10 points respectively.
Ray struggle from the floor (0-for-6), but his physical play set him up for a game-high 12 shots from the free-throw line connecting on 10.
Prior to the game, Johnson, who graduated from Southern in 1988 as the program's all-time assist leader, was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Jaguars' Alumni Association.
Southern will travel to face the Baylor University Bears Saturday, November 10, for a scheduled 5 p.m. tip-off. Baylor dropped their season opener to Southwestern Athletic Conference rival Texas Southern, 72-69. The Bears opened the season versus three SWAC opponents, Texas Southern, Southern and Prairie View A&M.