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Panthers overcome Rust at home in season opener, 67-55

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Led by sophomore guard Stephanie Stanley with 15 points, the Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team opened the season at home with a 67-55 win against Rust College, Tuesday evening in Bill Battle Coliseum.

Much of the first half was close, with neither team leading by more than four until the 2:33 mark when BSC went up by five, 26-21. The Panthers held a 28-24 lead at the half, and expanded their lead in the second half, going up by eight in the first four minutes, 36-28, and hanging on to the lead for the remainder of the game. Rust cut it to three twice at the 10- and 8-minute marks, but BSC held on and stretched the lead to 12 by the final buzzer.

Stanley was 4-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range and 4-of-4 at the free throw line, for 15 points. Senior Kristian Moody was also in double digits with 10 points. Juniors Alex Adams and Erin Moore led with seven rebounds apiece.

For Rust, Kala Williams led all players with 17 points, and Al'Lisha Hudson added 12. Telicia Gayden pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.

BSC shot 34.6 percent (18-of-52) from the field, including 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from beyond the arc, and 74.2 percent (23-of-31) from the free throw line.

Rust shot slightly better from the field, hitting 37.5 percent (24-of-64) overall, but struggled from three-point range, shooting 16.7 percent (2-of-12). The Lady Bearcats were 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from the charity stripe.

Rebounds were nearly even, with BSC leading 41-39.

The Panthers are at home again this weekend hosting the Sheraton Birmingham Classic, taking on Judson College, Friday, at 5 p.m., and LeTourneau University, Saturday, at 3 p.m.