Panthers survive late-game rally to down Millsaps on the road, 67-64

Griffin Schamp (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

JACKSON, Miss.—After leading for most of the game, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team survived a late-game surge from Millsaps to win on the road, 67-64, Saturday evening in Jackson, Miss. The Panthers move to 8-5 overall and 2-2 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Majors fall to 3-10 overall and 0-4 in the SAA.

The teams opened the game with a few traded baskets and the rest of the first half stayed close, with BSC holding the lead until Millsaps was able to tie it up 20-20 at the 9:50 mark. That was the closest the Majors would come before the half, though, and the Panthers took a 33-29 lead into the locker room at the break.

BSC steadily expanded its lead in the second half, building up to a 12-point 61-49 margin by the 5:22 mark. But the Majors made things interesting after that, using a 13-0 run to take their first lead since the opening minute of the game, 62-61, with 1:52 left to play. After a BSC timeout, senior Griffin Schamp made a layup to put the Panthers back ahead, 63-62. Millsaps tied it up with 54 seconds left when Dustin Aubert went 1-2 at the free throw line, but another Schamp layup put BSC up 65-63 with 23 seconds left. With eight seconds on the clock, Millsaps' Tully Gilligan went 1-2 at the free throw line, cutting it to 65-64, and the Majors were forced to foul as time wound down. Sophomore John Crain sank both free throws for BSC to clinch the 67-64 victory.

Schamp led BSC with 15 points on 5-7 shooting, followed by Crain with 13 points off the bench and junior Larry Thomas with 12 points. Thomas also led with nine rebounds, and senior Jason Holland led with five assists.

Gilligan led all players with 22 points, and Ryan Berger led the Majors with nine rebounds.

The Panthers shot 47.9 percent (23-48) from the field, 43.5 percent (10-23) from three-point range, and 73.3 percent (11-15) at the free throw line. The Majors hit 50 percent (23-46) overall but only 27.3 percent (3-11) from beyond the arc and 60 percent (15-25) from the line.

Millsaps out-rebounded BSC 29-26, with the Panthers tying their season-low in rebounding, and BSC turned the ball over 14 times, twice more than the Majors.

The Panthers are on the road again this Tuesday, Jan. 21, facing in-state non-conference rival Huntingdon at 7 p.m. in Montgomery.