ATLANTA, Ga.—The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team lost a hard-fought battle to No. 25 Emory in the second round of the NCAA Championship Saturday evening, losing in overtime 84-78 in Atlanta.
The Panthers end the season at 23-7, while the Eagles move to 20-7 and will face No. 1 Augustana in the Sweet Sixteen next weekend.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- It was a close game throughout, with 12 ties and eight lead changes.
- Emory led 30-29 at the half, and BSC used a 16-4 run in the second half to build a seven-point cushion, 57-50, with 6:39 remaining.
- The Eagles answered with a 16-9 run to tie things up 66-66 with 1:38 on the clock.
- With the game tied again at 68-68 with 47 seconds left, senior Ross Welch made a driving layup to put the Panthers up two.
- Emory's Davis Rao answered with a jumper to tie it up again at 70-70 with 34 seconds left.
- The Panthers had two chances before the final buzzer, but were not able to capitalize, sending the game to overtime.
- BSC led 74-72 at the 3:26 mark of the extra period, but Emory hit a big three-pointer to put the Eagles back ahead for good with 3:18 left.
- The Panthers cut the lead to one, twice, but were forced to foul down the stretch, sending Emory to the free throw line where the Eagles hit 5-6 in the last 12 seconds.
- Four Panthers scored in double figures, led by senior Alex Avery with 19 points on 7-11 shooting; he also led all players with seven assists.
- Junior Ian Thom led on the boards with nine rebounds and also added 16 points.
- Welch finished with 15 points, and sophomore Harrison Deneka scored 13.
- BSC out-rebounded Emory 39-30, but committed 19 turnovers to the Eagles' seven.
- The Panthers capped off a tremendous season, after starting 1-5 and making a big turnaround to win 19 games in a row, including a 14-0 mark in conference play.
- BSC won the regular season SAA title outright, and also won the SAA tournament last weekend.