BERKELEY, Ca. | Southern led from start to finish as the Jaguars knocked off California 74-66 Friday night.
For the fifth time in school history, the Southern University men’s basketball team has defeated a member of a Power 5 conference.
SU’s last victory over a member of a Power 5 conference came on November 16, 2015 as the Jaguars defeated Mississippi State, 76-72, in Starkville.
Brion Whitley paced four players in double figures with a season-high 18 points, on 7-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-8 from the 3-point line. P.J. Byrd and Dre’Shawn Allen registered 13 points, while Bryson Etienne finished with 10 points.
Devin Askew led Cal with 21 points, while Lars Thiemann added 15 points. Sam Alajiki tallied 10 points.
Southern, playing fast and pushing the tempo from the start, grabbed the early advantage, racing out to a 11-3 lead after a jumper from Brion Whitley with just over 15:00 minutes left and SU continued its offensive output, extending the lead to 17-5 as Whitley hit a 3-pointer off Tyrone Lyons assist with 12:54 remaining.
The Jaguars, who shot 56.0 percent in the first half, opened the game shooting 41.2 percent and turned over their Pac-12 opponent 8-4, in building a 22-13 advantage after Lyons basket with 7:32 left in the half.
California, which shot 35 percent from the floor in the opening half, closed the gap to 22-15 after a pair of free throws by Kuany Kuany, but Southern used a 9-2 run over the next 2:15 minutes, capped by a Dre’Shawn Allen jumper, giving the Jaguars their largest lead of the first half, 31-15 with 4:48 left.
However, the Bears used a 6-0 run over the final two minutes of the half to close the deficit to 34-24, but Allen made two free throws which sent the Jaguars into the break with a 38-26 advantage.
Southern started the second half strong, hitting a 3-pointer by Brion Whitley and two made free throws by Tyrone Lyons to extend the lead to 43-28.
After trading baskets, the Bears (0-4) went on a 8-2 run in the second half as Cal closed the deficit to 43-36.
Dre’Shawn Allen drained back-to-back 3-pointers as SU continued to play aggressive on both ends, pushing the lead 49-36 with 14:07 remaining.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Terrell Williams Jr. and Brion Whitley pushed the lead to 55-41 with 11:13 left.
The Bears cut the margin to 60-51 with just over 5:00 minutes to play after Sam Alajiki made 3-pointer.
Cal continued to play from behind, using a small 6-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Askew as SU’s lead was trimmed to 66-60 with 1:24 left.
Down the stretch, Southern proved to be too much as the Jaguars sealed the game at the free-throw line.
Courtesy: Southern Athletics
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