BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Despite 30 points from senior Larry Thomas, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team suffered its first home loss of the season on Sunday, falling to Oglethorpe, 91-84 in Bill Battle Coliseum.
The Panthers fell to 11-6 overall and 3-3 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Stormy Petrels moved to 14-3 overall and moved to second place in the SAA standings at 5-1.
BSC jumped out to a 6-2 lead to start the game and led for the first nine minutes, with the exception of a 9-9 tie at the 13:12 mark. With the Panthers up 13-9 at the 12:05 mark, the Petrels put together a 14-0 run to pull ahead 21-13 and would never relinquish the lead. BSC was able to cut the lead to three several times, the last at the 4:05 mark when Oglethorpe led 30-27. But the Petrels used another scoring run, this time 14-5, to lead 44-32 at the half for their largest lead of the game so far.
The Panthers cut the lead to 46-41 within the first two minutes of the second half, and a Thomas three-pointer at the 17:33 mark cut it to 48-44, but that was the closest BSC would come for the rest of the game. OU used a 9-0 run after that to pull ahead 57-44, and BSC would never cut the lead to less than eight until a Thomas layup just before the final buzzer to bring the score to 91-84.
Thomas led all players with 30 points, shooting 10-19 from the field, 5-10 from three-point range, and 5-5 at the free throw line. Junior Alex Avery recorded 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds, and sophomore Evan Lewis added 13 points off the bench, tying his career high set Friday night against Berry. Lewis and sophomore Ian Thom led with four assists each.
Five Petrels scored in double digits, led by Romello Bates with 17. Bates also led OU with six rebounds and four assists.
BSC out-rebounded the Petrels 38-32, and turnovers were almost even with the Panthers committing 12, one more than Oglethorpe.
The Panthers continue a four-game conference home stand next weekend, hosting league-leading Rhodes (13-3, 6-0 SAA) on Friday at 8 p.m., and Hendrix (6-11, 1-5 SAA) on Sunday at 3 p.m.