Braves regroup, land win over Jaguars

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 1, 2003

LORMAN &045; Brian Jackson and Victor Tarver have been lighting each other up for years now. Jackson, an Alcorn junior from Baker, La., and Tarver, a Southern senior from Baton Rouge, have continued their boyhood rivalry on the game’s next level.

Each summer Jackson returns to Baker &045; just on the outskirts of Baton Rouge &045; to visit family and friends, including Tarver. The two chums get together for friendly game’s of one-on-one and go at it.

In Saturday’s Southwestern Athletic Conference showdown, they put on a second half battle from long range unlike most. Tarver, who finished with a team-high 22 points, hit four 3-pointers and topped Jackson’s three treys. However, it was Jackson’s Braves who won the war, 93-87.

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&uot;We go at it every summer, so I’ve always known that he (Tarver) can shoot it,&uot; said Jackson, who had a game-high 23 points. &uot;I came out sluggish in the first half, but everybody has nights like that. I stepped it up when I needed to.&uot;

The Braves played their third straight game without Lee Cook, but just the first since Cook was kicked off the team by head coach Davey Whitney for violating team rules.

In the second half it didn’t seem to matter much, as Alcorn (6-15, 4-5 SWAC) shook off a lethargic first half and shot 69 percent in the second half and scored a season high for total points in a game, but had to hold on late for the win.

The second Alcorn retook the lead on a DeAndre Jones bucket with 12:51 left, it finally found a rhythm in the game, surging out to an 11-point lead, 68-57, when Jackson hit another bomb.

&uot;I thought we played in spurts for most of the game, but did a good job in the second half to battle,&uot; Whitney said. &uot;This team has fought through a lot of adversity and I hope this win can be used as a stepping stone for the rest of the season.&uot;

Jackson’s 3-pointer capped a 12-0 run before the Jags got an explosive dunk from Timothy Johnson to get back within single digits.

For the game the Braves shot 42.9 percent from long range, converting on five-of-seven in the second half, after hitting just one-of-eight in the first.

A three-point play from Campbell got Southern (4-12, 2-7 SWAC) within nine, 83-74, and Tarver followed that with his third 3-pointer in the last five minutes with 2:11 left.

&uot;We didn’t look at the clock late when we had the lead,&uot; Whitney said. &uot;I was trying to milk the clock, but we had a couple of freshmen out there, but I didn’t get on them because it’s a learning process.&uot;

The Braves appeared to ice it with consecutive dunks from Jackson and Myles Howard to push the margin back to 10 points with 97 seconds left, but the Jags had one final run left in their tank.

Johnson hit a trey with 41. 5 seconds left and Southern’s deficit was just four, 87-83.

Tarver hit another bomb with 18.6 seconds to go to get again within four, 90-86. Tarver had a chance to cut it to one when he was fouled behind the 3-point arc with 11.1 seconds left. However, Tarver hit just one and the Jaguars last gasp had vanished.

Down seven at the break, 45-38, the Braves blew the doors off the Davey L. Whitney Complex using an 8-0 run to draw within one, 49-48, on a free throw from DeAndre Jones with 15:41 left.

&uot;The breakdown in the second half is the name of our club,&uot; Southern head coach Ben Jobe said. &uot;We gave up to many points on the inside. They hurt us on offensive boards. They got too many second shots. We were standing around.&uot;

Southern jabbed back with a 3-pointer from Johnson, but Brian Jackson answered with a trey of his own with 14:34. Twenty seconds later Alcorn took its first lead of the game, 53-52, on a whirling kiss of the backboard from Dion Callans.

The Jaguars knocked down their first eight shots to build a 16-6 lead, after Johnson slapped the glass for a layup.

&uot;Our inside game was good the first half,&uot; Jobe said. &uot;We really almost scored at will. They got us when they went small. We got beat by a better team. They had a little more depth than we do. Most teams do.&uot;

The Braves fell victim on the inside without the services of Cook early, but rebounded in the second half to finish with five players reaching double figures, including Jackson and Alleo Frazier’s career night of 15 points.

&uot;The key for us in the second half was Frazier,&uot; Whitney said. &uot;He really directed the ball club well and he was a catalyst for us. I told him to be scrappy and he did a great job for us.&uot;