BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Birmingham-Southern (3-2) men's basketball team dropped a tough one tonight 72-68 to the Rhodes College (2-1) Lynx. The loss is the first in Bill Battle Coliseum for the Panthers this season.
Rhodes came out with all guns blazing. Halfway through the first half the Lynx were a scorching 9-for-11 from the floor (82-percent) and 5-of-6 from three. They jumped out to a 13-point lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the frame, 28-15.
The Panthers started sluggish, shooting just 48-percent from the floor in the half. Thankfully, the Lynx cooled off as the Panther defense stiffened, and held Rhodes to just five more buckets in the half. They went into the locker room with a 40-percent mark, going 5-24 in final 10 minutes of the half.
For their part, the Panthers warmed-up up and tied the score at 33 with just over 6 minutes in the half and took the tie, 42-42, into halftime.
The second half was more balanced from both teams. Both teams struggled from the floor, Rhodes shooting 32-percent from the floor and BSC going 39-percent. The Lynx took the lead out of the break, though, and never let it go. The lead, although never as high as the 13-pointer they had in the first half, climed as high as eight with just 2:57 remaining. The Panther's last-minute comeback was foiled as Rhodes continued to hit their foul shots down the stretch, keeping the game just out of reach for the Black & Gold.
The Panthers were led by Nathan West, from the bench, with 17 points, two assists, and two steals. Aaron Parr turned in another solid performance with 14 points, and Austin Thames rounded out the Panthers in double-figures with ten. Dominic Whicher added nine points and added a team-high six rebounds.
Rhodes' Corey Smith led all scorers with 31 points, 24 of which came in the first half. Kory Kilpatrick had the game's sole double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Panthers will be off for the Thanksgiving Holidays, but they will return to Bill Battle Coliseum on December 1, to take on Otterbein College (OH) at 7:00 p.m.