Panthers defeat Rhodes to remain unbeaten in SAA, 70-59

photo by Jimmy Mitchell
photo by Jimmy Mitchell

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Behind a big second-half performance, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team defeated Rhodes, 70-59, Friday evening in Memphis to remain undefeated in conference play.

The Panthers moved to 12-6 overall and 7-0 in the SAA, and have now won eight straight contests. The Lynx fell to 9-9 overall and 3-3 in conference play.

Early in the first half BSC led 8-5 before Rhodes put together an 11-0 run to pull ahead 16-8 at the 9:01 mark. The Lynx led the rest of the half, going up by as much as nine, twice, before leading 29-24 at halftime.

The second half belonged to BSC, with the Panthers using a 14-2 run to storm out to a 38-31 lead at the 14:31 mark. Rhodes kept things close, though, cutting it to four, 49-45, at the 9:50 mark, but that was the closest the Lynx would come. BSC steadily expanded its lead to 13, 70-57, with 1:26 left to play. A Rhodes layup as time wound down cut it to the final score of 70-59.

Senior Alex Avery led the Panthers with a game-high 17 points, followed by sophomore Harrison Deneka with 15, junior Evan Lewis with 13, and junior Ian Thom with 12. Avery also led with eight rebounds and five assists, and Deneka had three steals.

BSC out-scored Rhodes 46-30 in the second half, shooting nearly 67 percent (14-21) from the field. The Panthers also out-rebounded the Lynx 32-28.

BSC stays on the road for more conference action on Sunday, facing Hendrix at 3 p.m. in Conway, Ark.