BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Led by senior Kayla Ford with 19 points and 10 rebounds, the Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team returned home after the holiday break and defeated Rust College, 73-68, Sunday afternoon in Bill Battle Coliseum.
The Panthers moved to 7-5, while the Bearcats fell to 3-14. BSC is on the road next weekend for Southern Athletic Association games against Centre, Friday, Jan. 9, and Sewanee, Sunday, Jan. 11.
Rust scored the opening basket of the game and led 3-2 at the 16:29 mark before the Panthers took over the lead at the 15:20 mark on a Ford three-pointer, and BSC would never trail after that point. The Bearcats did manage to tie it up twice during the remainder of the first half, including a 19-19 knot at the 4:32 mark, but the Panthers ended on a 10-1 run to lead 29-20 at halftime.
BSC kept the lead for the entire second half, although Rust cut it to four, 46-42, with 10:43 remaining, and then cut it down to three, twice, down the stretch. The Panthers held on, though, and came away with the five-point win.
Ford led the Panthers with her double-double, the first of the season, while seniors Alexis Adams and Sydney McLendon recorded 12 points each. Ford shot 7-13 from the field, Adams was 5-8, and McLendon was 4-10.
Rust's Kala Williams led all players with 22 points on 9-16 shooting, and Demetrius Bradshaw led all players with 13 boards.
The Bearcats out-shot the Panthers overall, hitting 51.8 percent (29-56) from the field, including a 61.8 percent showing in the second half, as compared to BSC's 41 percent (25-61) performance. Rust also out-rebounded BSC 42-34 but committed 31 turnovers, 12 more than the Panthers' 19.