Richards leads No. 8 Panthers to 69-58 win over Berry

Zac Richards
Zac Richards

ROME, Ga.—Junior Zac Richards scored 18 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to help lead the No. 8 Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team to a 69-58 win over Berry College, Tuesday evening in the Cage Center.

BSC moves to 23-1 with its 16th straight win, while Berry falls to 3-18.

In the first half, Birmingham-Southern led by no more than eight points as they struggled to convert from three-point range, shooting a cold 14.3 percent from long distance in the first 20 minutes. On the other hand, three-point shooting kept Berry close, as the Vikings hit 6-of-12.

The Panthers, though, were dominating on the boards, outrebounding Berry 23-9 in the first half. Richards almost singlehandedly outrebounded Berry's team, grabbing seven boards himself to Berry's nine.

Berry continued to keep the game within single digits in the second half, and did not trail by double figures until a Griffin Schamp basket just over eight minutes into the second period.

Birmingham-Southern began to stretch its lead out to more than 10 points due in large part to squeaky-clean free throwing shooting. The Panthers did not miss a shot from the charity stripe until the final three minutes of the game, successfully making their first 16 attempts.

Richards went to work in the paint for BSC, tacking on 18 points and hauling down a game-high 13 boards. Senior Jasen Jonus also finished in double figures with 16 points on the strength of five three-pointers.

The play down low for Birmingham-Southern had a major impact on the game's final score as the Panthers outscored Berry 34-20 in the paint.

BSC returns home Saturday for the regular-season finale, hosting Oglethorpe at 5 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum.