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Avery sets single-game rebounding record in 88-80 overtime loss to LaGrange

Alex Avery (photo by Tim Sofranko)
Alex Avery (photo by Tim Sofranko)

LaGRANGE, Ga.—Despite a career-high 26 points and single-game record 21 rebounds from senior Alex Avery, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team lost in overtime, 88-80, Wednesday evening to LaGrange.

BSC fell to 1-4, while LaGrange moved to 5-1 with its fourth straight win.

Birmingham-Southern led for the opening minutes of the game until LaGrange took over the lead at the 13:52 mark, 11-8, and held the advantage until 55 seconds were remaining in regulation. LaGrange led 36-31 at the half, and led by as much as 12, 51-39, at the 13:02 mark of the second half. BSC steadily chipped away at the lead after that, and went up 71-70 with 55 seconds on the clock on a basket by freshman Matty Rudak.

Three LaGrange free throws put the home Panthers back in the lead, 72-70, but Rudak hit a jumper with 15 seconds remaining to tie things up and send the game to overtime.

Rudak scored to open the overtime period and put BSC ahead, but it was the last time the visitors would hold the lead, as LaGrange's Justyn Olson took over, scoring 11 of the Panthers' 16 points to help the home team win by eight.

Avery scored a career-high 26 points on 10-19 shooting, and also led all players with 21 rebounds, which is a new single-game record for the Panthers. His total breaks the previous record of 20 rebounds, held by Larry Kearse who pulled down 20 in a game against Huntingdon on Jan. 24, 1973.

Avery also led with a game-high five assists, and led five Panther players in double digits. Senior Ross Welch and junior Evan Lewis each scored 13, with Lewis shooting 5-8 from the field, and junior Ian Thom posted 12 points. Rudak also recorded 10 points off the bench on 5-7 shooting.

BSC takes a break for final exams before returning to action on Dec. 12, traveling to Lookout Mountain, Ga., to face Covenant at 4 p.m. ET.