BATON ROUGE -- Southern University senior forward Jared Sam recorded a game-high 24 points 13 rebounds to lead the Jaguars past the Wiley College Wildcats 92-69 on Wednesday night at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
The Jaguars bench came alive in the first-half outscoring the Wildcats 22-5, including 15 points from behind the arc, led by LaQuentin Collins, who recorded a season-high 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor. Collins went 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
"LaQuention Collins has come a long way, he is a guy that started for us in the beginning of the year, we put him on the bench, it is a better role for him," said head coach Morris Scott. Scott added, "he is able to see the game and then come into the game to make the proper adjustment. He is one of our smarter guys."
Aaron Ray returned to the lineup after sitting out the last four games due to an injury and recorded a season-high 10 points in 13 minutes of play.
Sam ended the half in exciting fashion, when he picked up a loose rebound near half court and hurled up a fadeaway shot from deep to beat the buzzer to take a 48-29 halftime lead.
The Wildcats began the second half on a 13-5 run to bring the game within 11 after a Joshua Hamilton jumper at the 15-minute mark.
The Jags went on a run of their own, extending the lead to 64-44 on an 11-2 run cemented by Sam, who blocked a shot and connected on a fastbreak dunk with eleven minutes remaining in the game.
Sam recorded 17 second-half points, on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and 3-3 from the charity stripe. He eight defensive rebounds for a total of 13 rebounds.
"He's been like that, kinda consistent all year, he had a couple of games on the road where he wasn't as good, I thought he got a little fatigue, we were utilizing him at first couple of games early. I believe he is getting his leg back and doing a great job, he impressed me by handling the double team tonight, passing out of it, and knowing when to go and went to not to, as long as he continues to get better, he is going to be fine." stated coach Scott.
As a team, Southern shot 49 percent (32-of-65) from the floor and 38 percent (7-of-18) from beyond the arc.
"Thought we played really well, we had a couple of lapse in the second half, when we had a chance to put them away in the second half, we put some of the veteran guys and got the game back under control." said coach Scott.
Southern will head down I-10 to face in-state foe Tulane University Green Wave, who defeated Alcorn State University 81-65 Wednesday night. The game against the Green Wave, which is scheduled for a noon tipoff at the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Delvin Fieldhouse, will be televised on ESPN3 and Fox Sports Radio 1280 am in New Orleans.