BATON ROUGE, La. -- Jared Sam had 13 points and a career-best 14 rebounds as the Southern defense shut down Alcorn State in the final five minutes to record a 61-48 victory on Saturday night.
Southern (9-13, 5-4 Southwestern Athletic Conference) has won four straight.
Southern trailed most of the first half, but rallied to take a 24-22 lead into the break. Alcorn State opened the second half on an 8-2 push, capped by Maurice Howard's 3-pointer, to retake the lead 30-26. Thomas answered with a 3 and Eddie Reese added two more treys for a 35-30 advantage at the 15:34 mark and the Jaguars never trailed again.
The Braves stayed within striking distance until they were outscored 10-3 in the final 5:20 of the game.
Dante Sterling had 16 points and Howard added 13 for Alcorn State (7-15, 3-6).
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Lamonte' Turner ended a shooting slump by sinking a go-ahead 3-pointer with 30 seconds left as No. 8 Tennessee rallied to beat No. 4 Kentucky 82-78 in a Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinal thriller Saturday.
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