Panthers fall to Hendrix on the road, 77-72

John Crain (photo courtesy of Hendrix College Athletics)
John Crain (photo courtesy of Hendrix College Athletics)

CONWAY, Ark.—Led by junior Larry Thomas with 24 points, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team lost on the road to Hendrix, 77-72, Friday evening at Grove Gymnasium in Conway, Ark.

The Panthers fall to 12-7 overall and 6-3 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Warriors move to 9-11 on the season with a 3-6 mark in the league.

Hendrix had one of its best shooting performances of the season, hitting 55.8 percent (29-52) from the field, compared to BSC's 44.2 percent (23-52) performance.

After the Warriors pulled out to a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes of play and led 19-12 at the 9:12 mark, the Panthers clawed back with seven straight points to tie it up 19-19 by the 7:57 mark. The teams played to four more ties after that, exchanging the lead several times before Hendrix led 38-37 at halftime.

The second half was more of the same to start, with several ties and lead changes before BSC used a 9-0 run after trailing 53-51 to pull ahead 60-53 at the 11:13 mark. Hendrix responded with eight straight points to go back up 61-60, and the lead was traded a few more times before the teams were tied 63-63 with 5:37 left. Two free throws from Hendrix's Luke Vance after that gave the Warriors a lead they would never relinquish. Although the Panthers stayed within striking distance, they were not able to close the gap and Hendrix won by five, 77-72.

Thomas led all players with his 24 points, going 8-14 from the field including 3-6 from three-point range. Senior Griffin Schamp added 14 points and sophomore John Crain had 13 points off the bench, hitting 4-7 from the field. Crain also led the team with five rebounds, and senior Jason Holland led with four assists.

Vance led Hendrix with 20 points and eight rebounds, and Gabe Gumm led all players with eight assists.

The Warriors out-rebounded the Panthers, 31-29, but also committed one more turnover than BSC with 13.

The Panthers are on the road again this Sunday, facing Rhodes at 3 p.m. in Memphis.