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Panthers come from behind to defeat Hendrix, 70-64

James McLean (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
James McLean (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

CONWAY, Ark.—With its ninth straight victory, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team moved to 8-0 in the Southern Athletic Association on Sunday with a 70-64 win against Hendrix in Conway, Ark.

The Panthers moved to 13-6 overall and stand atop the SAA standings at 8-0, while the Warriors fell to 2-17 overall and 1-7 in the SAA.

The game was close the whole way, with eight lead changes and six ties in the first half alone. One of those ties was at the end of the first half, 32-32.

After the teams traded baskets to open the second half, Hendrix used a 9-0 run to pull ahead 43-34, and kept the lead until the Panthers fought back to tie things back up, 54-54, at the 6:26 mark. Two three-pointers from the Warriors put the home team back in the lead until the 1:40 mark, when a jumper from senior Ross Welch put BSC ahead, 65-64, for the Panthers' first lead since late in the first half. BSC held Hendrix scoreless the rest of the way, finishing the game on an 11-0 run to win 70-64.

Junior James McLean led the Panthers with 18 points off the bench, followed by sophomore Harrison Deneka with 15 points and junior Evan Lewis with 12. McLean also led with seven rebounds, and Lewis and senior Alex Avery led with four assists each.

The Panthers are on the road again next weekend, facing Centre on Friday in Danville, Ky., and Sewanee on Sunday in Sewanee, Tenn.