With a little less than a month remaining in the season, Monday night is probably Alabama State’s last real shot to win the conference regular season championship when they play Southern.
Alabama State (9-4) will carry a perfect 11-0 home record in tow with them when they host first-place Southern (11-2) in attempt to keep their hopes alive for a No. 1 seed in the rapidly approaching SWAC tournament.
It was Jan. 27 the last time these conference foes squared off with Southern coming away with a hard-fought 68-55 win in Baton Rouge.
In that game, Alabama State was unable to contain the Jaguars’ trio of Calvin Godfrey, Yondarius Johnson and Malcolm Miller who combined to score 48 of the team’s 68 points.
The Hornets were also hamstrung by poor shooting from the field throughout. Southern held Alabama State to just 30 percent overall, and 27 percent in the second half to eventually pull away in the late stages of the game.
Although Alabama State got solid double-digit point total performances from Maurice Strong, Brandon Graham and Jamel Ware, the other six players who saw minutes went 3-for-31 from the field that night.
If Alabama State wants to topple Southern, consistency on the offense end will be paramount. A win by Southern all but cliches the No. 1 seed, as they would be up three games in the lost column and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Alabama State is 4-2 in their last six, while Southern is 5-1 during that same span since the teams last met nearly 30 days ago. Monday’s result will either make the SWAC regular season more clearer or murkier.