Panthers clinch share of regular season title and top seed in SAA Championship with 77-62 victory over Berry

Ian Thom (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Ian Thom (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—With a 77-62 win against Berry College Friday evening in Bill Battle Coliseum, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Southern Athletic Association Championship.

The Panthers, who moved to 16-6 overall and 11-0 in the SAA, will also win at least a share of the regular season title. The Vikings fell to 9-13 overall and 5-6 in the SAA.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The game was back-and-forth the whole way, with 10 ties and 12 lead changes.
  • Berry hit two three-pointers in the final minute of the first half to put the Vikings up 40-35 at halftime.
  • The Panthers opened the second half with an 8-1 run to go ahead 43-41, and steadily built up the lead from there to evetually win by 15.

NOTABLE

  • Junior Ian Thom led BSC with 16 points on 5-8 shooting, followed by sophomore Harrison Deneka with 14 points on 6-10 shooting.
  • Junior James McLean added 13 points off the bench, going 9-10 at the free throw line, and senior Alex Avery posted 11 points and a team-high 11 rebounds and four assists.
  • The second half was the difference maker for BSC, as the Panthers shot nearly 62 percent (13-21) while the Vikings shot just under 17 percent (6-36).
  • BSC extended its current win streak to 12 games, and its home record to 8-0 this season. The Panthers are an impressive 80-4 at home in Bill Battle dating back to the 2009-10 season.

UP NEXT

  • The Panthers host Oglethorpe on Sunday at 3 p.m.