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BSC defeats Emory in home debut, 54-44

Yorisha Bryant (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Yorisha Bryant (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Led by senior Yorisha Bryant with 25 points and 10 rebounds, the Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team opened its home slate Friday evening with a 54-44 win against Emory in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers, under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Ricks, moved to 2-0, while the Eagles fell to 1-1. BSC is at home again Saturday night, hosting in-state rival Huntingdon at 7 p.m.

BSC raced out to a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes and led by as much as eight, 12-4, in the first period.

After the Panthers led 14-9 heading into the second period, the Eagles used a 10-3 run to pull ahead 19-17, and the lead changed hands several times leading to a 26-26 tie at the half.

Emory put together a 10-2 run to open the third period, pulling ahead 36-28, and then led 39-30 at the 3:34 mark for its largest lead of the game. The Panthers responded with a 9-1 run to cut it to 40-39 by the end of the period.

The Panthers opened the fourth period with six straight points to pull ahead 45-40, and maintained the lead for the remainder of the game. Emory cut it to 47-44 with 3:50 left in the game, but BSC held the Eagles scoreless after that, while senior Halle Knowles stepped to the free throw line six times in the final 33 seconds, making all six.

Bryant's 25 points led all players, and she shot 9-13 from the field and 7-10 from the free throw line. Knowles had 11 points, hitting 8-8 at the line. Junior Jameice Holmes led with a game-high 11 rebounds, followed by Bryant with 10 for her second straight double-double. Knowles also led with five assists, and junior Jasmynn Batts led with four steals.