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January 17, 2009

Panthers unable to climb out of second-half hole, lose 62-56 to Southwestern

Box Score

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern (7-8) men’s basketball team dropped their second straight home game Saturday falling 62-56 to the Pirates of Southwestern University.

The Panthers and Pirates traded buckets for most of the half.  Southwestern took the early lead after BSC missed an opening layup and gave away the breakaway on the other end.  A four-point lead was as much as the Pirates could muster, though; the Panthers led by as many as five in the frame.  Everything seemed poised to remain knotted up into the break.  The score was tied at 29 with just under three minutes, unfortunately for the Panthers their last field-goal came with 4:10 left on the clock.  Southwestern closed the half on a 4-0 run, taking a 33-29 advantage into the second half.

The Pirate rally continued well into the new half.  Southwestern held the Panthers scoreless for a nine-minute stretch straddling both halves.  #Mark Messenger# finally broke run at the 15:45 mark with a free-throw, but the damage had been done, the Pirates held an 11-point lead, 41-30.  The Panthers would not lead again.

BSC continued to chip into the deficit for the remainder of the game.  With the minutes ticking away, the Panthers furiously tried to claw back even.  A three-point play from Aaron Parr with 1:15 left cut the Pirate lead down to three, 57-54.  The Pirates’ Andrew McDonald hit the second of two free-throws to put the Pirates back up four.

#Mikey Kline# and Mark Messenger both finished with 13 points on the day.  As a team, the Panthers turned in another disappointing percentage line, shooting 33-percent from the floor, 71-percent from the free-throw line, and just nine-percent from behind the three-point arc.  BSC hit only 2-of-22 three-point attempts.

The Panthers will be on the road again next weekend.  On Friday they travel to Sherman, Texas for an 8:00 p.m. meeting with the Austin College Roos before heading up to Colorado Springs on Sunday to take on the Colorado College Tigers at 3:00 p.m. (All times Central).