ASHLAND, Va.—The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team picked up a big win today, upsetting No. 17 Guilford College, 72-56, in the Coaches Classic sponsored by Kay Jewelers, hosted by Randolph-Macon College in Crenshaw Gymnasium in Ashland, Va.
The Panthers (7-2) dealt the Quakers (9-2), ranked 17th in this week's D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, their second loss in as many days.
BSC jumped out to a quick lead to open the game and led 17-12 after the first six minutes of play, after which Guilford used a 12-0 run to go up 24-17 by the 10:13 mark. The Panthers clawed their way back into the lead, 28-27, by the 3:02 mark of the first half, and the teams played to a 33-33 tie at halftime.
Senior Schylar Freeman opened the second half with two straight baskets, and junior Larry Thomas' fourth and final three-pointer of the game capped an 8-0 BSC run to put the Panthers up 41-33. A three by Trever Hyatt at the 14:47 mark of the second half cut the Panther lead to 41-37, but the Quakers made just one of their next nine shots, during which time the BSC lead grew to 16.
Freeman scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, going 5-5 from the field. He helped the Panthers shoot over 57 percent in the period, during which time Guilford shot 23.1 percent.
Thomas led all players with 23 points on 9-13 shooting after going 6-6 in the first half, including three three-pointers, for 16 first-half points. He also recorded his second double-double of the year with 11 rebounds, and had a team-high three steals. Senior Jason Holland led with four assists, and Freeman and sophomore Ross Welch were also in double-figure scoring with 12 points apiece.
Alston Furr led Guilford with 15 points, while Zeb Richardson led with 11 rebounds. The Quakers out-rebounded the Panthers 39-33, but doubled BSC's turnovers with 14 while the Panthers had a season-low seven.
BSC shot 43.6 percent (24-55) from the field including 45.8 percent (11-24) from three-point range. The Panthers shot 65 percent (13-20) from the free throw line. Guilford struggled from the field, hitting 32.1 percent (18-56) overall and 34.8 percent (8-23) from beyond the arc; the Quakers hit 63.2 percent (12-19) from the line.
BSC is back in action Monday, Jan. 6, facing Emory on the road at 7 p.m. Eastern in Atlanta. The teams met earlier in the season already, when BSC won 90-76 in Bill Battle Coliseum on Nov. 17.