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February 25, 2012

Centre upsets No. 9 Panthers in SCAC semifinals

-courtesy of SCACsports.com-
BIRMINGHAM—
Centre College senior forward Greg Ross poured in a game-high 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Colonels knocked off ninth-ranked Birmingham-Southern College, 77-58, in the first men's semifinal Saturday afternoon at Bill Battle Coliseum on the campus of Birmingham-Southern.

Ross hit on 11-of-13 shots from the field to advance Centre (18-8) to its seventh-consecutive SCAC men's championship game. Ross and the rest of the Colonels were nearly unstoppable on the day as Centre shot an astounding 62.5 percent (25 for 40) from the floor for the game.

Ross was not the only Colonel who had a huge game. Sophomore guard Collin Lopez scored 17 points on 6 of 7 shooting, including 3 of 4 from beyond on the arc. Sophomore Donovan Whiteside added eight points on 3 of 3 shooting and senior Jeff Mullaney added 11 points.

Birmingham-Southern, on the other hand, shot just 30 percent (18 for 60) on the game. The Panthers (25-2) connected on just 8 of 29 shots (27.6 percent) in the first half. The loss snapped BSC's 18 game winning streak and its 43 game home winning streak dating back to the 2008-09 season.

Centre built a 35-26 lead at halftime and never trailed as they beat Birmingham-Southern for the second time on the season. The Colonels won two of the three meetings between the teams during the season, including splitting the two meetings at Bill Battle Coliseum.

Birmingham-Southern came into the SCAC tournament in the top 30 of the nation in scoring margin (80.6) but was held to its lowest first half point total on the season. The Panthers scored just 28 points in their only prior loss of the season at Centre.

Freshman Larry Thomas led the Panthers with 12 points, followed by junior Blaise White with 11. Sophomore Colin Henry led on the boards with eight rebounds, and White led with four assists.

For more tournament coverage, including an interview with Head Coach Chris Graves, visit the semifinal recap page at scacsports.com.