Panthers beat Colorado College in thrilling overtime victory, 93-80

Box Score

After trailing by as much as 12 in the first half, and never actually leading in regulation, the Birmingham-Southern men’s basketball team out-scored Colorado College 20-7 in overtime to defeat the Tigers, 93-80, Sunday afternoon in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers move to 12-1 overall and 6-1 in the SCAC with their sixth straight win this season; BSC has also now won 25 straight games at home in Battle. CC falls to 10-6 overall and 6-1 in the SCAC with its first conference loss.

The Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game, and led by 12, 17-5, by the 13:32 mark. The Panthers put together a 14-2 run after that to tie it up, 19-19, capped off by a three-pointer from sophomore Hart Ahumada at the 7:24 mark, but CC managed to pull back out by nine, 36-27, by the end of the half.

CC scored the opening basket of the second half to go up by 11, and kept the lead until BSC went on an 11-2 run from the 14:20 mark, when the Tigers led 48-39, to the 9:23 mark, when the Panthers tied it up, 50-50, on a three-pointer by junior Jasen Jonus.

The Tigers responded by pulling back ahead, and were back up by eight, 61-53, with 5:48 left in the game. BSC stayed on their heels and slowly chipped away at the lead down the stretch, cutting it to four, 73-69, on a layup by sophomore Zac Richards with 1:30 left, and then three, 73-70, on a free throw by Richards with 1:03 on the clock.

With 19 seconds left in the game, Jonus was fouled on a three-point attempt and went to the line, where he sank all three free throws to tie it up, 73-73. The Tigers were unable to score on the final possession of regulation, and the game went to overtime.

The Panthers took over in overtime, as Richards hit the first bucket for BSC’s first lead of the game to spark a 7-0 run before CC’s first points of the OT period – free throws by Colin Madden. Sophomore Blaise White then hit a three-pointer, putting BSC up by eight, 83-75, but Foley came back down the court and did the same thing, cutting the Panthers’ lead back to five, 83-78, with 2:29 left.

Sophomore Kevin Kegarise made a layup after that, but Foley responded in kind to cut it back to five again before he fouled Kegarise on the next possession and was called for an intentional foul, giving BSC two shots and the ball. Kegarise made both, and was fouled again, sinking two more free throws to put the Panthers up 89-80 with 56 seconds left in overtime.

The Tigers were unable to score again after that, and both Kegarise and Jonus went to the free throw line again with 21 seconds on the clock as a result of personal and technical fouls called against Nick Rose. Both players hit both of their shots, putting the Panthers up 93-80. Foley was able to get one more shot off for the Tigers in the closing seconds, but was unable to connect, and BSC came away with the 13-point victory.

Jonus led all players with 26 points on 6-of-9 shooting, followed by White and Kegarise with 19 points apiece, career highs for both. Richards also scored 16 points, which ties his career high. White led on the boards with seven rebounds, and also led with four assists. Richards added two blocks as well.

Rose led Colorado College with 25 points, followed by Ryan Milne with 15 and Foley with 13. Brady Ohlsen led with 11 rebounds.

The Panthers shot well for the game, hitting 28-of-50 (56 percent) from the field, 12-of-28 (42.9 percent) on three-pointers, and 25-of-33 (75.8 percent) at the free throw line. The Tigers shot 30-of-67 (44.8 percent) overall, 9-of-23 (39.1 percent) from three-point range, and 11-of-14 (78.6 percent) at the line.

BSC out-rebounded CC, 38-27, but committed more turnovers with 18; the Tigers committed 13 turnovers.

BSC is on the road next weekend, traveling to face Millsaps, Jan. 21, and Hendrix, Jan. 23, before returning home on Jan. 28 to take on Southwestern University at 8 p.m.