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BSC drops heartbreaker to Hendrix on the road, 71-70

Larry Thomas (photo by Ben Breland)
Larry Thomas (photo by Ben Breland)

CONWAY, Ark.—A free throw shot with less than one second lifted Hendrix to a 71-70 victory against the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team, Sunday afternoon at Grove Gymnasium in Conway, Ark.

The Panthers end the season at 15-10 overall and 7-7 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Warriors moved to 9-16 overall and 4-10 in league play.

The teams traded leads to start the game before Hendrix used a 9-0 run to pull ahead 18-10 at the 12:14 mark. The Warriors stayed in the lead for the rest of the half, going up by as much as nine before leading 37-29 at the break.

BSC stayed behind for most of the second half as well, cutting the lead to three, twice, before Hendrix pulled back up by 10, 56-46, for the largest lead of the game with 8:51 left to play. BSC chipped the lead back down, and a free throw shot from sophomore James McLean cut the Warrior lead to two, 68-66, with 22 seconds left in the game. After a Hendrix layup, senior Larry Thomas made a shot to cut it back to two, 70-68, with 14 seconds remaining. Hendrix turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, and sophomore Evan Lewis was fouled on an offensive rebound. He stepped to the line and hit both free throws to tie things up, 70-70, with five seconds on the clock. The Panthers sent Hank Aldous to the free throw line, though, with .7 seconds left, where he hit one of two to put the Warriors up by one for the win.

Thomas led the Panthers with 17 points, followed by junior Alex Avery with 14 on 5-7 shooting, and sophomore Ian Thom with 13 on 6-10 shooting. Avery led on the boards with nine rebounds and also led with four assists.

Aldous led all players with 21 points, while Luke Vance posted a double-double for Hendrix with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

The Panthers will begin post-season play next weekend in the SAA Championship, hosted by Rhodes in Memphis, Tenn. BSC will play as the fourth seed, facing fifth-seeded Oglethorpe in the semifinals on Friday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m.