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Shooting woes plague Panthers in 69-42 home loss to Centre

Harrison Deneka (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Harrison Deneka (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Shooting a season-low 27.8 percent from the field, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team lost big at home to Centre Friday evening, 69-42, in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers fell to 14-8 overall and 6-5 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Colonels moved to 17-4 overall and 8-3 in the SAA and are now tied for first in the league standings with Sewanee. BSC also falls to 8-2 at home in Bill Battle Coliseum, marking the first year with more than one home loss since the 2008 season.

BSC came out strong and led 8-2 by the 16:26 mark, and held on to the lead, going up by as much as eight, for most of the first half. After trailing 17-9 at the 7:32 mark, Centre used a 14-2 run over the next five minutes to pull ahead 23-19, and led 29-26 at the half.

The Panther offense went cold in the second half. After junior Alex Avery scored to cut it to one in the opening minute, the Colonels put together another run, this time 14-1 to pull up 43-30 at the 15:08 mark. The Colonels steadily expanded the lead for the remainder of the game while holding the Panthers to only 16 second-half points.

Freshman Harrison Deneka led BSC with 11 points, while senior Larry Thomas added 10. Avery led with eight rebounds, and Thomas led with three assists and four steals.

Centre's Blake Scinta led all players with 29 points on 12-16 shooting, and Tyler Wesley led with nine rebounds.

The Panthers shot 15-54 (.278) from the field and 5-20 (.250) from three-point range, the lowest percentages of the season, while the Colonels shot 26-49 (.531) overall and 9-22 (.409) from beyond the arc.

Centre also out-rebounded BSC 36-28, but committed 16 turnovers, two more than the Panthers.

BSC is at home again for the regular season home finale this Sunday, hosting Sewanee in a 3 p.m. tip-off. It will be Senior Day for Ander Galfsky, Mason Holle, and Larry Thomas.