DANVILLE, Ky. – No. 2 seed Birmingham-Southern got out the gates quickly and never trailed on its way to a 63-47 win over Millsaps College Saturday in the semifinals of the Southern Athletic Association Tournament.
The Panthers improved to 20-7 overall and will play No. 1 seed Centre for the SAA Championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. (central). Centre defeated Oglethorpe 89-80 in the first semifinal game. The Majors close their season with a 6-21 record.
A Kevin Kagarise 3-point basket just under three minutes into the game gave BSC an 8-0 lead which later grew to a 17-1 advantage on a Kagarise jump shot with 13:10 remaining in the first half.
Millsaps went on a 9-2 run later in the half to cut the lead to 22-16 following a Kevin Wilson three at the 4:44 mark but BSC would outscore the Majors 5-2 to close the first half leading 27-18.
The Panthers were able to keep the lead around 10 points before a Larry Thomas 3-pointer sparked a 15-0 run midway through the second half. A pair of John Crain free throws on the end of the run gave the Panthers a 55-29 lead with 7:20 remaining in the game.
BSC would take its biggest lead, 60-32, on a pair of Brandan Marschner free throws with 4:53 remaining and Millsaps could never get any closer than 18 points the rest of the way.
Thomas was the only Panther to score in double figures with 13 points along with three steals while Zac Richards led with a game-high nine rebounds. Blaise White scored nine points and had four steals followed by Richards with eight points.
Nick Cortese had 11 points to lead the Majors while Ryan Berger had a team-high six rebounds.
The Panthers held a 45-31 rebounding advantage with 16 offensive rebounds on the night.