BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Led by sophomore Larry Thomas with 29 points, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team defeated Centre College at home in Bill Battle Coliseum, 73-69, Sunday afternoon.
The Panthers move to 9-3 overall and 3-0 in the Southern Athletic Association; the Colonels fall to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in league play.
Centre held a small lead for the first six minutes of the game before a three-pointer from Thomas at the 13:39 mark put the Panthers up 12-11. BSC led for the remainder of the half, going up by as much as 10, 40-30, at the 2:49 mark before taking a 42-35 lead into the locker room at halftime.
After a Thomas layup to open the second half and put the Panthers up 44-35, the Colonels proceeded to use a 12-2 run to take a 47-46 lead by the 15:01 mark. After three more lead changes, BSC took back the lead for good, although Centre stayed hot on the Panthers' heels for the remainder of the game. BSC led by no more than seven, and the Colonels cut it down to one, 70-69, with 1:59 left in the game. With 16 seconds left and the Panthers still holding a one-point lead, senior Blaise White nailed a long-range three-pointer to put BSC up 73-69. After a Centre timeout, the Colonels missed three shots as the final seconds ticked away, and the Panthers came away with the four-point victory.
Thomas led all players with 29 points, followed by White with 19 on 7-10 shooting, including 4-6 from three-point range. White also led with eight rebounds and five steals, and he and senior Zac Richards led with three assists apiece.
Bryon Ellis led the Colonels with 14 points, followed by Collin Lopez with 12 and Josh Karsner with 10. Tyler Wesley led with eight rebounds.
BSC shot 23-51 (.451) overall and 12-25 (.480) from three-point range, while Centre shot 26-48 (.542) overall and 10-20 (.500) from beyond the arc. The Panthers hit 15-22 (.682) at the line and the Colonels were 7-10 (.700).
BSC led on the boards 29-26 and committed a season-low nine turnovers. Centre turned the ball over 13 times.
The Panthers are on the road this Wednesday, taking a break from conference play to face in-state rival Huntingdon on Wednesday, Jan. 9, in Montgomery at 7 p.m. BSC returns home on Saturday, Jan. 12, to take on SAA rival Millsaps at 5 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum.