BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Zac Richards scored a game-high 19 points while Larry Thomas scored 15 points and collected 10 rebounds to lead Birmingham-Southern (15-4; 8-1 SAA) to a 78-66 Southern Athletic Association win over Hendrix College (6-14; 1-8 SAA) Friday at Bill Battle Coliseum.
Richards fell one rebound shy of a double-double wiping the glass for nine rebounds and finished the game 9-of-10 from the floor. Kevin Kegarise added 13 points and three boards while Blaise White dished out 10 assists.
BSC jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a Richards' layup just two minutes into the contest before taking a 13-point lead after a Jason Holland three with 1:47 left in the first half.
The Panthers shot 53 percent for the contest, including 55 percent on 15-of-27 shooting in the first half and 13-of-25 in the second half.
BSC went on a 17-6 run to start the second half to build a 58-36 lead following a Thomas 3-pointer with 13:49 remaining.
Hendrix chipped away at the Panthers' lead, cutting the lead 64-53 on a Will Roland basket with 7:17 left before cutting the lead to eight at 71-63 on a Jordan Barrett field goal at the 2:19 mark.
Colton Primm led the scoring for the Warriors with 16 points and five rebounds. Jaren Riley added 10 points followed by Barrett with nine points. Roland led HC with eight rebounds along with seven-points.
The first-place Panthers will host a key SAA game against second-place Rhodes College on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum.