February 24, 2012

No. 9 Panthers cruise past Dallas, 82-59, in SCAC quarterfinals

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern College, the East's top-ranked team, earned the program's first-ever Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament win with an 82-59 victory over the West's fourth-ranked University of Dallas Crusaders at Bill Battle Coliseum.

The ninth-ranked Panthers extended their home winning streak to 43 straight games while winning their 18th straight game of the season. Birmingham-Southern opened up a 37-23 halftime lead and never trailed in advancing to the SCAC semifinals. Birmingham-Southern shot nearly 49 percent (17 of 35) in the second half and nearly 44 percent (31 of 71) for the game.

The Panthers improved to 25-1 while showing their depth as five players scored eight or more points led by a team high 15 points from senior guard Jasen Jonus. Junior forward Blaise White added 14 points while Kevin Kegarise (eight points), Griffin Schamp (eight points) and Larry Thomas (12 points) rounded out the balanced scoring attack.

Appearing in its first-ever SCAC tournament, Dallas was led by Joe Stephens who scored 13 points on 4 of 8 shooting and nearly notched a double-double with eight rebounds. Tanner Bruffey was just two points shy of a double-double as well as he tallied eight points and 10 rebounds. The Crusaders, who won just four games all last season, finished the season at 7-19 overall.

Birmingham-Southern returns to action on Saturday, February 25 in the semifinals when they take on the #3 seed in the East, Centre College, who defeated the #2 West seed Austin College, 56-52, in game two today. That game is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT at Birmingham-Southern's Bill Battle Coliseum.