BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern (9-9) Panthers held off a late surge from the Millsaps College (5-14) Majors tonight, 68-60, at Bill Battle Coliseum for their second-straight victory. Aaron Parr led the Panthers on the night with 17 points, going 3-of-4 from three-point range.
The Panthers controlled the game from the tip to the buzzer tonight, despite a good closing surge from the Majors. BSC only lost the lead once, during an eight-minute stretch in the first half. The game started out slow for both squads. No one was able to score on the first five possessions. The seal was, finally, broken at the free-throw line by BSC’s #Wheeler Flemming# at the 18:31 mark. The Majors were able to pull ahead of the Panthers early thanks to a string of turnovers and misses between the 15 and 7-minute marks. Millsaps’ largest lead of the game came with 8:06 remaining in the half, 19-13. The Panthers answered with a 16-0 run over the next six minutes and wound up taking a six-point lead of their own into the half, up 29-23.
BSC maintained their lead well into the second frame. Just over two minutes into the half the Panthers tacked on another seven onto the margin, 40-27, for their largest lead of the game. The Majors were unable to make much of their opportunities, especially from long-range. Millsaps went just 2-of-17 from three on the night. The Panthers seemed poised to cruise to the easy home victory. They had just gone up 57-46 off a vicious thunder-dunk from #Michael Rebarchak# when the Majors made their move.
Millsaps capitalized on a string of miscues from the Panthers to put together a 7-0 run over the two-minutes to quickly close the gap to just four, 57-53, with 3:28 remaining. Fortunately for the Panthers, #Isiah Doaty# snapped the run with a three, putting the Panthers back up seven. The Majors never got closer than four again thanks to the Panthers free-throw shooting. BSC hit 6-of-8 from the line to close the game, going 17-of-24 on the night, good for 71-percent.
‘Southern’s starters produced big-time for the home crowd tonight. #Aaron Parr# led the way with 17, Doaty finished with 14, Rebarchak with 12, and #Mark Messenger# added 10 points and a game-high seven boards. Millsaps was led by Cameron Varnado with 14 points and five rebounds.
Coach Cole’s team will look to make it three-in-a-row when they return to the Hilltop Hardwood tomorrow evening for a 4:00 p.m. tip-off with the Hendrix College Warriors.