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January 6, 2012

BSC Women fall to Millsaps in overtime, 79-76

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Despite a career-high 30-point performance from junior Caroline King, the Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team lost in overtime to conference rival Millsaps College, 79-76, Friday evening in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers fall to 6-7 overall and 1-3 in the SCAC, while the Majors move to 11-2 overall and 3-1 in the league.

The game was back-and-forth for much of the first half, with three ties and eight lead changes, before the Panthers pulled away in the last four minutes, going on a 16-2 run to lead 43-31 at halftime.

BSC expanded its lead to 15, 50-35, by the 15:41 mark of the second half, after which Millsaps put together a 10-0 run to cut it to five, 50-45, at the 11:54 mark. The Majors kept chipping away at the lead, and pulled ahead 56-55 with 6:27 left in regulation. King hit a three-pointer after that to put BSC back up, but the Majors also responded with a three-pointer to re-take the lead, and went up by five, 63-58, with 1:11 left to play.

Senior Sam Davidson sank a three-pointer after that to cut it to two with 37 seconds left, and Millsaps missed the front end of a one-and-one after that. BSC junior Alex Adams came down with the rebound, and the Majors sent King to the free throw line with eight seconds remaining, where she made both to tie it up, 73-73. Millsaps was unable to score in the final seconds, sending the game to overtime.

It looked like the game might see a second overtime when the score was tied yet again, 76-76, with 39 seconds left, but the Majors made a layup, BSC turned it over, and Millsaps went 1-1 at the free throw line with three seconds left to go up by three for the win.

King led all players with her career-high 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Junior Melanie Short was also in double digits with 15 points, and posted a double-double with a team-high 12 rebounds. Senior Ashton Spurgin led with six assists, and senior Kristian Moody added five, while sophomore Stephanie Stanley led with three steals.

For Millsaps, Janice Okeke was impressive with 26 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Shante Morton with 20 points and Velvet Johnson with 17. Shatoya White led with seven assists, and Morton led with three steals.

BSC shot 45 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range, and 78 percent at the free throw line, while Millsaps shot slightly better overall at 49 percent from the field.

Rebounds were nearly even at 35-34 in favor of Millsaps, but BSC committed 24 turnovers to the Majors' 17.

The Panthers are back in action at home on Sunday, continuing SCAC play against Rhodes at 1 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum.