BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team picked up its second-straight win at home on Thursday evening, taking down the Huntingdon Hawks 96-85.
The Panthers scored the opening basket and never gave up the lead, but the Hawks battled and kept it close for the entire game.
BSC opened up a seven-point lead off an Andy Zhou (Beijing, China/Arlington Country Day School) lay-up with 7:25 to go in the first half. It would be the biggest lead of the game for BSC until the Panthers went up by nine on a run early in the second half.
At halftime, BSC led Huntingdon 57-54.
The visitors continued to fight in the second half, but the Panthers managed to keep them at arm's length. With just over four minutes to go, the Hawks pulled within four after a made free throw. However, BSC put together a few defensive stops and went on a 12-5 run to close out the game and secure its third win of the season.
Birmingham-Southern was led by senior forward Harrison Deneka (Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers HS), who put together a 27-point performance. BSC's leading scorer was also a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line and snagged 10 rebounds.
Three other Panther starters had double-digit scoring totals, as well. Point guard Zach Allison (Pelham, Ala./Wallace State Community College) had 18 points and a game-high seven assists. Guard Rich Yancey (Newnan, Ga./The Heritage School) put up 14 points and sophomore Calvin Bak (Muscle Shoals, Ala./Muscle Shoals HS) had 11 points.
Birmingham-Southern will have a six-day break before traveling to Atlanta for the Emory Classic. The Panthers will take on Transylvania on Thursday, Dec. 28 and Illinois Wesleyan on Friday, Dec. 29 to close out the tournament. After that, BSC will open up 2018 with its first conference game against Millsaps at home on Tuesday, Jan. 2.