BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team battled in a fast-paced game against Southern Athletic Association rival Rhodes College Friday night in Bill Battle Coliseum. The Panthers hung with Rhodes in the first half, but could not overcome a big second half run and fell 122-98. They moved to 10-11 overall, 6-4 in SAA play.
Matty Rudak (Augustów, Poland/Millbrook School) led all scorers with a game-high 20 points. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Harrison Deneka (Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers HS) earned 17 points of his own and Ian Thom (Cold Spring, N.Y./Croton-Harmon HS) finished right behind him with 16 points.
Rhodes led by as many as 16 in the first half. The Panthers shot 68 percent from the floor to claw back to within three before the break, trailing 61-58 at halftime. The Lynx came out on fire in the second half. They extended their lead on the back of a 23-8 run and never looked back.
Rhodes improved to 10-10 overall with the win, 7-3 against SAA opponents.
The Panthers remain at home for their next matchup. They take on Hendrix University this Sunday, Feb. 5 in a doubleheader with the women's team. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.