The result was better for Jackson State than last month when it faced Southern.

But it would have been better with a win.

The Tigers fell to Southern 68-63 Monday night at home. When the two teams played in January, JSU fell to Southern 60-36, its worst loss of the season. Still, the Tigers (8-15, 4-7 Southwestern Athletic Conference) would’ve wanted the victory over the No. 1 team in the conference before embarking on a three-game road trip next Saturday.

Southern (14-10, 10-1)won its fifth straight game, playing the same solid defense it has all season. Ranked first in the league, holding opponents to 62.4 points a game, the Jaguars limited JSU to 36 percent shooting.

It built a 12-point lead early in the second half, but a dunk by Derrell Taylor helped JSU go on a 7-0 run and to pull within 43-38.

But no matter how close JSU seemed to get, Southern seemed to respond with a 3-pointer to maintain its lead. Tre Lynch scored back-to-back 3’s to put the Jaguars up by 14.

Shortly after, with about 6 minutes left, Javeres Brent, who was cold throughout much of the night, knocked a 3-pointer for his first field goal. And then around the 4:31 mark, Julysses Nobles also hit a 3, bringing the Tigers under double-digits. But it wasn’t enough.

Nobles had a game-high 20 points. Southern was led by Clavin Godfrey, Trelun Banks and Tre Lynch, all whom had 15 points apiece.

Down 14-7, Jackson State began to attack the paint and were rewarded at the free-throw line. But Yondarius Johnson’s 3-pointer ended JSU’s run and reignited the Jaguar offense.

Johnson scored 13 of Southern’s last 15 points, and JSU trailed at halftime 31-22.

The Tigers had all sort of first-half struggles. They made only six of 22 field goals, and their best chance of making a basket seemed to be from the line, where it was 10 for 13.