Kegarise leads Panthers in 68-53 victory over Oglethorpe

Kevin Kegarise (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Kevin Kegarise (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team, led by a career-high 25 points from senior Kevin Kegarise, wrapped up an undefeated weekend of conference play with a 68-53 victory over Oglethorpe University, Sunday afternoon in Bill Battle Coliseum.

With the victory, the Panthers move to 14-4 on the season and 7-1 in the Southern Athletic Association. The Stormy Petrels of Oglethorpe fall to 13-6 and 5-3 in conference play.

With the game tied at two at the 18:32 mark of the first half, Kegarise knocked down a jump shot to open his season-best scoring performance and give the Panthers a lead that they would never relinquish. Senior Zac Richards pushed BSC out to their first double-digit lead of the night at 19-9 at the 10:23 mark of the first half. The layup from Richards was part of his fifth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds on the afternoon. The senior tandem accounted for 20 of the Panthers' first-half points as BSC went into the break with a 33-25 advantage.

The two seniors came out in the second half picking up right where they left off and put in the next 17 BSC points to give the Panthers a 50-32 lead. The Panthers continually kept a comfortable lead throughout the second half and even pushed the lead to 20 or more points on three different occasions. Sophomore Larry Thomas made a layup with 14:42 left in the game to give BSC a 52-32 lead. Freshman Ross Welch nailed a three-pointer with 11:31 to play to give the Panthers a 22-point lead on a possession made possible by junior Jason Holland's steal from Oglethorpe's Jordan Kinney. Another three-pointer from Welch less than a minute later gave the Panthers their largest lead of the night at 23 points. Oglethorpe would cut the score to 64-53 with 2:48 left in the game, but Richards would knock down all four of his free throw attempts the rest of the game to bring the game to the final score of 68-53.

Kegarise led all scorers with his 25 points, shooting 9-14 overall and 7-12 from three-point range, followed by Richards with his 20-point performance on 8-10 shooting. Thomas and senior Blaise White both had a game-high five assists and White also led with five steals.

Oglethorpe was led in scoring by Christian Molinet with 15 points. The leading rebounder for the Stormy Petrels was Jordan Kinney with 7 boards.

BSC shot 25-57 (.439) from the field and 9-27 (.333) from three-point range, and was 9-13 (.692) at the free throw line. Oglethorpe shot 18-54 (.333) overall, 7-26 (.269) from beyond the arc, and 10-18 (.556) at the line. Birmingham-Southern held the advantage in scoring off the bench 19-15.

BSC returns to the hardwood on Friday with an 8 p.m. tilt against Hendrix, and will face Rhodes next Sunday at 3 p.m.