Panthers win NCAA first-round game against LaGrange, 93-91

photo by Jimmy Mitchell
photo by Jimmy Mitchell

ATLANTA, Ga.—With four Panthers scoring in double figures, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team downed LaGrange, 93-91, in the first round of the NCAA Championship, Friday evening in Atlanta, Ga.

BSC moved to 23-6, while LaGrange fell to 20-9. BSC has won 19 straight games and owns the second-longest active win streak in the nation. Benedictine leads with a 27-game streak and an undefeated 27-0 record on the year.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • A fast-paced game from start to finish, the teams opened by trading three-pointers within the first 35 seconds.
  • LaGrange pulled out to a 14-7 lead by the 16-minute mark, and then led 20-11 at the 12-minute mark.
  • BSC then used a 22-2 run to take a 33-22 lead by the 6:33 mark before LaGrange clawed back to cut it to 48-46 with 23 seconds left in the half.
  • A jumper by junior Ian Thom just before the buzzer put BSC up 50-46 at the break.
  • BSC held a small lead for the first nine minutes of the second half before LaGrange pulled ahead 66-64 on a three-pointer by Alex Bonner at the 11:14 mark.
  • The teams traded leads several times after that, including several ties, and LaGrange led by as much as five, 78-73, before BSC used a 12-0 run to pull ahead 85-78 with 2:18 left to play.
  • LaGrange cut it back to five, 89-84, with a minute left, but BSC kept the lead, going up 93-86 with 16 seconds left.
  • Braxton Ford hit a jumper with 11 seconds remaining, and Bonner nailed a three-pointer as time expired to cut BSC's lead back to two for a final of 93-91.

NOTABLE

  • Four of each team's starters scored in double figures.
  • Sophomore Harrison Deneka led BSC with 20 points, going 5-7 from the field and 10-12 at the free throw line.
  • Senior Alex Avery notched his 18th double-double of the year with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
  • Thom and senior Ross Welch also scored 16 points, and Welch led with four assists.
  • The BSC Panthers shot nearly 54 percent from the field and were 8-18 from three-point range; LaGrange shot 47.6 percent, with over half of their attempted shots coming beyond the arc.
  • BSC out-rebounded LC 37-24.

UP NEXT

  • The Panthers advance to the round of 32 and will face host No. 25 Emory Saturday evening at 7 p.m. EST. The Eagles defeated Covenant, 76-51, in tonight's second game.