OWINGS MILLS, Md.—Despite a career-high 27 points from senior Griffin Schamp, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team fell short against Salisbury University, 75-72 at the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic Friday afternoon in Owings Mill, Md.
The Panthers fall to 2-1 with their first loss of the young season, while the Seagulls also move to 2-1. The National Invitational Classic is a prestigious 10-team event featuring some of the best Division III programs from around the country. The Panthers will face host Stevenson University tomorrow at 5 p.m. Eastern.
BSC pulled out to a quick 7-0 lead to open the game, but the Gulls quickly closed the gap with an 11-2 run to pull ahead 11-9 at the 14:53 mark. The Panthers answered with a layup to tie it 11-11, but Salisbury took the lead back again and scored seven unanswered points to go up 18-11. The Gulls stayed one step ahead of the Panthers after that, although BSC was able to cut it to one, 26-25, with 6:04 left in the half, and then tie it up, 35-35, with 51 seconds left before halftime thanks to two straight Schamp baskets. Salisbury pulled back up by five before the end of the half, 40-35, with five straight points in the last 44 seconds.
Salisbury pulled out to a nine-point 49-40 lead within the first three minutes of the second half for the largest lead of the game so far, and the Gulls achieved an 11-point lead, 64-53, at the 8:28 mark. The Panthers went to work, chipping away at the lead and tying it up 70-70 on a 17-6 run over the next four minutes. Sophomore Ross Welch hit a pair of free throws after that to give BSC its first lead since the 16:08 mark of the first half, but a Salisbury bucket tied it back up at 72-72 with 3:02 left to play, and the Gulls took back the lead with 1:09 left on a layup by Tim Harwood. BSC sent Salisbury to the free throw line with 33 seconds remaining, where Kyle Savercool made one of two, and the Panthers pulled down the rebound on the missed shot but were unable to get a shot to fall in the final seconds of the game.
Schamp led all players with his impressive 27-point performance, going 10-16 from the field and 7-11 at the free throw line. Junior Larry Thomas also added 17 points, and Welch recorded 13. Thomas led a balanced rebounding effort with six boards, and senior Jason Holland led with four assists.
The Panthers shot 53.1 percent (26-49) from the field, but only 25 percent (4-16) from three-point range and 76.2 percent (16-21) from the free throw line. The Gulls hit 48.4 percent (30-62) from the field, 31.8 percent (7-22) from beyond the arc, and 61.5 percent (8-13) from the line.
BSC led in rebounds, 30-28, including 23 defensive boards. The Panthers struggled with turnovers, losing the ball 18 times while Salisbury committed only 11 turnovers.