CHAMPIONS! Men's Basketball downs Sewanee to win SAA title

photo by Michael Wade
photo by Michael Wade

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team held off a late-game run by Sewanee to win the 2016 Southern Athletic Association Championship, 68-50, Sunday afternoon in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers moved to 22-6 and have won 18 straight games. BSC will receive the SAA's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, which begins on Thursday, March 3. Sewanee fell to 20-8.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • After an early 5-5 tie, BSC put together a 21-4 run to pull up 26-9 by the 7:27 mark of the first half.
  • Sewanee scored two baskets after that, which would be their last of the half, with the Panthers finishing on a 6-0 run to go up 34-15 at halftime.
  • BSC held a comfortable lead for much of the second half, and led 55-41 with 6:32 left to play before the Tigers hit two three-pointers to cut it to eight, 55-47, with 4:06 on the clock.
  • The Panthers scored five points to push the lead to 13 before Sewanee's Hunter Buescher hit a three at the 2:11 mark in what would be the Tigers' final basket of the game.
  • BSC finished with eight straight points for a final of 68-50.

NOTABLE

  • Today's win marked 100 victories for Head Coach Chris Graves.
  • Senior Ross Welch led the Panthers with 15 points, while senior Alex Avery posted his 17th double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Sophomore Harrison Deneka also added 10 points, and junior Ian Thom led with three assists.
  • Avery was named Tournament MVP, and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by junior Evan Lewis.

UP NEXT

  • BSC will find out its fate tomorrow as the NCAA selection show will be broadcast at 11:30 a.m. CST on NCAA.com.