Box Score ITTA BENA -- Sean Woods was all smiles.
And the fourth-year Mississippi Valley State basketball coach had plenty of reasons to grin from ear to ear: his Delta Devil team had just defeated Southern University 77-56; Valley is off to a 5-0 SWAC start; and now is in sole possession of first place in the conference.
Cor-J Cox scored 23 points and six rebounds in a reserve role to lead the Delta Devils past another conference foe. A total of five MVSU players scored in double-figures, with senior Paul Crosby adding 18 points and 14 rebounds.
"When its a whole group effort," said Woods, "it makes it even better."
MVSU (6-11, 5-0 SWAC) sit atop the SWAC following Texas Southern's loss to Jackson State on Monday night.
Valley has won four of its last five games by double-digits, with its closest win coming in a 67-60 defeat of Alabama State on Jan. 7.
Southern (8-11, 4-2 SWAC) kept it close through the first 20 minutes. Mike Celestin nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer before halftime that closed the gap to 37-30.
But the Delta Devils put their boots on the necks of the Jaguars in the second half, outscoring the visitors 40-26.
MVSU senior guard Kevin Burwell had 12 points and eight assists while Falando Jones and Terrence Joyner chipped in 11 points each.
Valley out-rebounded Southern 41 to 32 and forced them to commit 21 turnovers.
Derick Beltran's 15 points paced the Jaguars.
MVSU will travel to Prairie View A&M (7-11, 3-2 SWAC) on Saturday.