Panthers win regular season SAA championship

Panthers win regular season SAA championship

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team defeated Oglethorpe, 66-53, Sunday afternoon in Bill Battle Coliseum to clinch their first Southern Athletic Association regular season championship.

The Panthers moved to 17-6 overall and remained unbeaten at 12-0 in the SAA. The Stormy Petrels fell to 11-12 overall and 6-6 in the SAA.

BSC clinched the No. 1 seed for the SAA Championship this past Friday night, and will host the tournament Feb. 26-28.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The teams traded baskets several times to open the game, and OU led 6-5 just two minutes in.
  • After that, BSC used a 16-2 run to pull ahead 21-8 at the 8:25 mark.
  • BSC led 32-13 at the 5:47 mark of the first when the Petrels put together an 8-0 run to cut it to 32-21, but the Panthers were able to extend the lead back out to 14, 36-22, at the half.
  • Within the first seven minutes of the second half, OU had cut the lead back to seven, 44-37, and then cut it to five, 51-46, at the 9:02 mark.
  • BSC responded with a 13-3 run, capped off by three-pointers by senior Ross Welch and junior Evan Lewis, to pull back ahead 64-49 with 3:22 left in the game.
  • The Panthers held on after that for the eventual 13-point victory.

NOTABLE

  • Senior Alex Avery led all players with 14 points on 6-11 shooting.
  • Sophomore Harrison Deneka posted 13 points and a game- and career-high 12 rebounds; it was also his first career double-double.
  • Junior Ian Thom led with five assists.

UP NEXT

  • BSC closes out the regular season with two home games next weekend, facing Rhodes on Friday at 8 p.m. and Hendrix on Sunday at 3 p.m.