JACKSON, Miss. – Kaven Bernard and Raeford Worsham combined to score 39 points for the Jackson State men’s basketball team, as the Tigers defeated the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 66-46 Thursday night at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center.
Bernard led all scorers with 21 points on 7-12 shooting to go along with his six rebounds. Worsham played an all around solid game as he added 18 points on 6-12 shooting. He also had six rebounds and six steals.
“We have been on the road for six weeks,” said JSU head coach Wayne Brent. “I was just so happy for our kids. People get down on them and wonder what’s wrong with them, but the thing that’s wrong is we have been on the road for so long and people don’t understand how hard it is to win on the road. So to come out here tonight and bring that same energy and same effort and get a win will help us build confidence. It will go a long way.”
A swarming defense was the name of the game for JSU as the Tigers held the Golden Eagles to 37.1 percent shooting (13-35) and 27.3 percent shooting from beyond three-point range.
“I thought we did a good job in contesting every shot and just playing with energy,” said Brent.
JSU converted its defensive efforts into 23 points. JSU shot 45.8 percent from the field (22-48), 30 percent from three-point range (6-20) and 66.7 percent from the free throw line (16-24). The Tigers also held the advantage, 36-1, in bench scoring.
Matt Bingaya led USM with a 20 point and 10 rebound effort.
The Tigers never trailed and eventually built their lead to 24 points early in the second half.
Worsham scored the first eight points of the game for the Tigers as JSU opened the game with a 10-2 run and never looked back. USM cut JSU’s lead to 10-6 by the 14:44 mark in the first half, but never got closer any closer as the Tigers went on an 11-0 run over the next over the next two minutes. The Tigers led 38-16 at halftime.
USM opened the second half with a 6-2 run to cut JSU’s lead to 40-22 by the 17:08 mark. JSU again followed the Golden Eagle run with one of its own, scoring the seven of the last 11 points of the game.