BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Playing at home in its last game of the season, the Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team defeated Centre in a thrilling overtime victory, 84-81, Sunday afternoon in Bill Battle Coliseum.
The Panthers end the season at 15-10 overall, 10-6 in the SCAC; the Colonels fall to 17-8, 11-5 in the league.
Seniors Jamie Key and Katelyn Wilson were honored prior to the game.
BSC came out and opened up a 10-4 lead in the first three minutes of the game, and held a lead until the 11:56 mark, when a jumper by Paige Baechle gave Centre a one-point 16-15 lead. After a few traded baskets, the Panthers stretched their lead back out to seven, 29-22, with 6:57 remaining in the half. The Colonels came back and tied it up once before halftime (29-29 at the 3:48 mark) but the Panthers stayed in control and led 40-33 at the break.
With the exception of a 51-51 tie at the 10:19 mark, BSC kept the lead until the final minute of regulation. A three-pointer by Jane Goatley tied things up, 71-71, but sophomore Caroline King nailed a jumper in the lane with 30 seconds remaining to put the Panthers back up, 73-71. Centre's Chelsea Benham made a layup with 21 seconds left to knot it back up at 73-73, and BSC missed a shot at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
BSC junior Ashton Spurgin scored the first basket in overtime, and the Panthers led for the entire five minutes. Centre was able to cut it to one, 81-80, with 12 seconds remaining, but junior Sam Davidson went to the free throw line and sank both shots to put the Panthers back up by three with seven seconds on the clock. Centre's Maggie Prewitt went to the line after that, and hit one of two, cutting the lead to two with five seconds left. The Colonels were forced to foul after that, and sent sophomore Alex Adams to the line with three seconds left, where she missed the first but sank the second, putting the Panthers up by three once again. Centre was unable to get another shot off, and BSC picked up the three-point win.
Wilson led the Panthers with 18 points, followed by King with 16 and Spurgin with 13. Spurgin also recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds, and Wilson also led with three assists and three steals.
Prewitt led the Colonels with a game-high 27 points and eight assists, while Benham added 19 points and Lauren Huter had 12. Benham also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Both teams shot fairly evenly from the field, with BSC hitting 26-of-55 (47.3 percent) and Centre hitting 30-of-64 (46.9 percent). The Panthers were more effective from long-range, hitting 14-of-26 (53.8 percent) from three-point range to Centre's 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) performance, but the Colonels fared better at the free throw line, going 16-of-18 (88.9 percent) to BSC's 18-of-26 (69.2 percent) showing.
Centre out-rebounded BSC, 35-31, and turnovers were even at 11 apiece.