Thomas scores 33 in home win over Hendrix

Larry Thomas (photo by Ben Breland)
Larry Thomas (photo by Ben Breland)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team capped off a successful conference homestand on Sunday, defeating Hendrix 74-65 in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers moved to 13-6 overall and 5-3 in the Southern Athletic Association; the Warriors fell to 6-13 overall and 1-7 in league action.

The teams traded baskets to open the game before the Panthers used a 12-2 run to pull up 15-6 by the 13-minute mark. BSC led 21-13 at the 9:20 mark when the Warriors put together an 11-0 run to take a 24-21 lead with 3:19 left in the half. That would turn out to be their largest lead of the game, as the Panthers clawed back ahead and led 32-28 at halftime.

After a layup by Luke Vance to open the second half cut the lead to two, BSC went on a 15-4 scoring run to increase the lead to 13, 47-34, in the first five minutes. Hendrix stayed on the Panthers' heels, though, fighting back to cut it to five two times later in the game, but BSC kept scoring, holding on to eventually win by nine.

Senior Larry Thomas led all players with 33 points, going 11-16 from the field and 9-10 at the free throw line, and also moved into second place on BSC's all-time steals list with 196, chasing Blaise White's (2009-2013) record of 228. Junior Alex Avery led on the boards with 13 rebounds, and sophomore point guard Ian Thom added 10 points.

Hank Aldous led the Warriors with 15 points on 7-16 shooting, while Vance led with nine rebounds and Gabe Bumm had a game-high five assists.

BSC out-rebounded Hendrix 40-35 while committing only seven turnovers, tying the season low.

The Panthers are on the road next weekend for two SAA games in Georgia, facing Berry on Friday at 8 p.m. ET and Oglethorpe on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.