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Panthers win big in home opener, down Maryville 99-72

Harrison Deneka (photo by Tim Sofranko)
Harrison Deneka (photo by Tim Sofranko)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Playing for the first time in Bill Battle Coliseum this season, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team cruised to a 99-72 win against Maryville, Monday evening.

The Panthers moved to 2-5, while the Scots fell to 6-2.

Sophomore Harrison Deneka led the Panthers in scoring for the second straight game, pouring in 23 points on 7-12 shooting, and senior Alex Avery led on the boards with 14 rebounds.

A three-pointer by senior Ross Welch opened the game, and BSC would never trail, although Maryville came close a handful of times, including cutting the lead to one, 24-23, at the 7:31 mark of the first half. But the Panthers kept control of the game, expanding their lead out to 13, 48-35, by the end of the period, capped off by a Welch layup.

BSC opened the second half with a 16-2 run in the first five minutes, pulling up 64-37, and led by as much as 34, 95-61, with 4:14 left in the game. The Panthers shot over 57 percent (16-28) in the second half alone.

Junior Ian Thom added 20 points on 7-9 shooting for BSC and also dished out five assists, and Welch ended up with 13 points on 4-8 shooting. Junior James McLean also posted 14 points off the bench.

Logan Brewer led three Maryville players in double digits with 12 points.

BSC out-rebounded the Scots 53-30, tying its season-high rebounding total. The Panthers also struggled with turnovers, committing 20 to Maryville's 13.

BSC stays at home for its next two games, hosting the Black Tie Classic this weekend and facing Belhaven this Thursday at 7 p.m. and then Berea on Saturday at 3 p.m.