No. 18 Panthers hold on to defeat Point University, 92-80

Jasen Jonus
Jasen Jonus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The No. 18 Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team won its 35th straight home game Saturday afternoon, defeating Point University 92-80 in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers remain undefeated at 7-0, while Point falls to 3-9.

BSC started the game with eight unanswered points and dominated the first half, hitting a double-digit lead at the 13:47 mark (19-7 on a three-pointer from sophomore Nick Murphy) and going up by as much as 23 before leading 53-32 at the half.

The Panthers expanded their lead to 27 within the first five minutes of the second half, and led by 27 three more times after that before the Skyhawks came alive, holding BSC scoreless from the 11:44 mark to 6:07 mark, while scoring 19 unanswered points to cut the lead to 74-66.

A three-pointer from senior Jasen Jonus broke the drought to put BSC back up by 11, but the scrappy Skyhawks would come as close as seven, cutting it to 79-72 with 4:36 remaining. The Panthers kept fighting, thought, and hung on to win by 12.

Jonus led all players with 23 points, hitting six of the Panthers' 19 three-pointers. Junior Zac Richards recorded 14 points, Murphy had 12, and junior Kevin Kegarise scored 11. Junior Blaise White led with eight assists and five rebounds.

Five different Point players scored in double digits, led by Kadeem White with 17. Jeremy Mahaffey was impressive with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Skyhawks out-rebounded BSC 43-29 but committed double the turnovers with 22 to the Panthers' 11.

BSC shot 47.1 percent (32-of-68) from the field, 52.8 percent (19-of-36) from three-point range, and 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from the free throw line.

Point shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) overall, 34.8 percent (8-of-23) from beyond the arc, and 87.5 percent (14-of-16) from the line.

The Panthers are on the road next weekend for a two-game conference series, taking on Centre, Friday, Dec. 16, and Sewanee, Sunday, Dec. 18. BSC returns home on Friday, Jan. 6, facing Millsaps at 8 p.m.