Panther women drop heartbreaker to Centre, 67-66

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—After leading by as much as 15 in the first half, the Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team lost a heartbreaker to Centre College at home, Sunday afternoon, 67-66 in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers fall to 5-8 overall and 1-2 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Colonels move to 4-9 overall and 2-1 in the SAA.

BSC opened the game with a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes and led for the entire first half, going up by as much as 15, 29-14, at the 7:40 mark. The Panthers led 34-20 with 5:12 left in the half, but Centre used a 10-2 run to close out the period and BSC led 36-30 at halftime.

The Colonels opened the second half with a 9-2 run to take their first lead of the game, 39-38 at the 15:43 mark. The game was back and forth after that, with neither team leading by more than three for the remainder of the game. The teams tied it up 42-42 at the 14:23 mark and would play to 11 more ties, with 13 total lead changes. The Panthers led by three, 62-59, with 4:56 left to play, and led by two, 66-64, with 51 seconds left, but a layup by Maggie Hartlage tied it up 66-66 with 33 seconds left. BSC turned it over after that and fouled the Colonels with three seconds on the clock. Mary Winstead made one-of-two at the line to put Centre up by one, and the Panthers were unable to score in the final three seconds.

Seniors Caroline King and Alex Adams led BSC with 17 points apiece, and senior Erin Moore led with nine rebounds. Junior Elizabeth Bromirski and freshman Kelsey Brown also had 11 points each, and King led with three assists.

Paige Baechle led all players with 26 points and 13 rebounds for Centre, followed by Bridget Winstead with 11 points and Chelsea Benham with 10. Mary Winstead led with four assists.

The Colonels out-shot the Panthers from the field and from three-point range. Centre was 23-53 (.434) overall and 6-14 (.429) from beyond the arc, and BSC hit 22-59 (.373) overall and 8-22 (.364) from long range. The Panthers hit 14-17 (.824) from the free throw line, while the Colonels were 15-20 (.750).

Centre also out-rebounded BSC, 38-33, but committed 15 turnovers to the Panthers' 12.

The Panthers are at home again this Wednesday, Jan. 9, stepping out of conference play to face Rust College at 6 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum. BSC is also at home this Saturday, Jan. 12, to take on SAA foe Millsaps College at 3 p.m.