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February 28, 2014

Panthers advance to semifinals of SAA Men's Basketball Championship

DANVILLE, Ky.—Second-seeded Birmingham-Southern won its quarterfinal game in the Southern Athletic Association Men's Basketball Championship, defeating seventh-seeded Hendrix 77-62 Friday evening at Centre College in Danville, Ky.

The Panthers, ranked sixth in the NCAA South Region rankings just behind top-seeded Centre at fifth, move to 17-9, while the Warriors end their season with a 10-16 mark. BSC moves on to the semifinal round tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET, facing third-seeded Oglethorpe, who defeated sixth-seeded Millsaps this evening 55-50. No. 1 Centre and No. 4 Rhodes also won their games today, and will square off tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET.

Junior Larry Thomas led three Panthers in double figures with 21 points on 7-12 shooting, followed by senior Jason Holland with a career-high 14 points and senior Griffin Schamp with 10 points. Schamp also led with five rebounds, and Holland led with four assists.

Both teams were slow to get started offensively, with the score tied at 6-6 at the 12:43 mark. Hendrix pulled ahead 13-8 five minutes later, and held a modest lead until a pair of free throws from freshman Alex Perkins tied it up 20-20 at the 3:14 mark. The Warriors scored again to take back the lead, and stayed ahead until the 1:40 mark when a Schamp layup put BSC ahead 25-24. Holland hit two free throws and Thomas made a layup to put the Panthers up 29-24, and the Warriors' Colton Primm went to the free throw line with 37 seconds left to cut the BSC lead to 29-26 before the halftime break.

Hendrix opened the second half with four straight points to take a 30-29 lead, but it was the last time they'd be ahead of BSC, as the Panthers used a 19-2 run after that to pull ahead 48-32 by the 13:34 mark. The closest the Warriors would come after that was cutting it to nine, 51-42, with 10:45 remaining.

Hank Aldous led Hendrix with 18 points off the bench, followed by Primm with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Rebounds were nearly even between the teams (34 for BSC, 33 for Hendrix), but the Warriors turned the ball over more than twice as many times as the Panthers with 23 turnovers to BSC's 11, which ties the Panthers' third-lowest turnover total of the season.

Tomorrow's game will feature live stats and live video, available at www.centreathletics.com.