BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Playing at home in the regular-season finale, the No. 8 Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team defeated Oglethorpe, 92-80, in Bill Battle Coliseum.
BSC moves to 24-1 overall and 15-1 in the SCAC, while the Petrels fall to 11-14 overall and 6-10 in league action. The Panthers have now won 16 straight games and 42 straight home games.
Junior Zac Richards led BSC with 25 points, hitting 12-of-15, while senior Jasen Jonus scored 19, freshman Larry Thomas scored 13, and junior Kevin Kegarise scored 11. Junior Blaise White dished out 10 assists, and sophomore Colin Henry led with six rebounds.
Jonus and classmate Caleb Lee were honored in a pregame ceremony for Senior Day.
The Panthers led the entire game with the exception of 15 seconds early in the first half when the Petrels led by one. BSC stayed a step ahead of Oglethorpe and built up to a 14-point 36-22 lead at the 7:39 mark. The Petrels cut it back to six, twice, and BSC led 48-39 at halftime.
BSC increased its lead to double digits for good five minutes into the second half, pulling ahead 56-46. The Panthers led by as much as 21, 82-61, at the 5:42 mark before coming away with the 12-point win.
Andrew Steioff led the Petrels with 25 points, followed by Branden Jovaag with 14, Alec Pitts with 13, and Christian Molinet with 10. Jovaag and Steioff led with eight rebounds each, Molinet led with four assists, and Jovaag also led with four steals.
The Panthers shot well, hitting over 55 percent for the game, while OU hit 44.6 percent. BSC scored 46 points in the paint and 28 points off turnovers.
Rebounds were even at 34 for each team. BSC turned it over 16 times, two less than Oglethorpe.
The Panthers are back in action next weekend, hosting the 2012 SCAC Championship for their first-ever Division III post-season appearance. BSC will play as the top seed in the East Division, facing the fourth seed in the West Division on Friday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum.