Panthers hold off Rhodes in 79-74 victory

Box Score

Led by junior Katelyn Wilson with 22 points, the Birmingham-Southern women’s basketball team survived a late-game comeback from Rhodes College to win, 79-74, Saturday afternoon in Bill Battle Coliseum in the Panthers’ last home game of the season.

BSC moves to 13-10 overall and 7-7 in the SCAC with the win, while the Lynx drop to 13-10 overall and 6-8 in the conference.

The Panthers opened the game on a 10-0 run before Rhodes scored its first basket, a layup by Becky Atnip, at the 16:47 mark. BSC stayed up and led by as much as 16, 22-6, at the 10:13 mark before leading 37-24 at the half.

BSC maintained its double-digit lead for much of the second half as well, achieving the largest lead of the game, 48-27, at the 16:06 mark. The Lynx steadily chipped away at the lead, though, cutting it to nine, 53-44, with 10:28 left to play, then seven, 59-52, at the 7:43 mark. Rhodes kept on firing, cutting it to five on a layup by Jenilee Pate at the 5:39 mark, and then cutting it to two, 63-61, on a three-pointer by Becca Clarin with 4:58 left in the game.

BSC was able to stay ahead just ahead of Rhodes, going back up by nine, 75-66, with 1:35 left on the clock, but the Lynx clawed back again with an 8-0 run to cut it to one, 75-74, with 28 seconds left. Rhodes was forced to foul the Panthers, sending freshman Caroline King to the line, where she sank both to put BSC back up by three.

The Lynx missed a three-pointer on their next possession, and freshman Alex Adams came down with the rebound. She was fouled and went to the line with seven seconds left and also hit both free throws to increase the lead to five, 79-74. Rhodes was unable to connect on a final shot, and the Panthers came away with the victory.

Wilson led all players with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting, followed by Adams with a career-high-tying 19 points, freshman Melanie Short with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and King with 10 points. Wilson and Short also led with nine rebounds apiece, Wilson and sophomore Sam Davidson led with four assists each, and Short recorded two blocks.

The Panthers shot 50 percent (29-of-58) from the field, 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from three-point range, and 80 percent (8-of-10) from the line.

All five of Rhodes’ starters scored in double figures, led by Atnip and Pate with 16 apiece, while Sharwil Bell scored 15, LaKeya McGill recorded 13, and Clarin had 10. Bell and Clarin led with eight rebounds apiece, McGill led with five assists, and Pate had three blocks.

The Lynx shot 35 percent (28-of-80) from the field, 27.3 percent (9-of-33) from three, and 60 percent (9-of-15) at the stripe.

Rhodes out-rebounded BSC, 44-42, although the Panthers pulled down 37 defensive boards. BSC also committed 18 turnovers to Rhodes’ eight.

BSC wraps up the season next weekend on the road, traveling to face Centre, Friday, at 6 p.m. ET in Danville, Ky., and DePauw, Sunday, at noon ET in Greencastle, Ind.