Panthers hang on to defeat Mobile 58-56 in home opener

Melanie Short
Melanie Short

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team held off a late-game surge from Mobile to win 58-56 Tuesday evening in the Panthers' home opener in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers move to 1-2, while the Rams fall to 3-4.

BSC jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game and led for the entire first half, going up by as much as 10, 12-2, at the 11:04 mark. Mobile came back to cut the lead to two, 22-20, with 1:58 left in the half, but the Panthers used a 7-2 run in the final 1:16 to go back up by seven, 29-22, by halftime.

The Panthers built their lead back up to 11, 38-27, by the 15:55 mark of the second half, and led 42-35 with 10:59 left to play. But the Rams scored eight unanswered points after that to take their first lead of the game, 42-43, with 9:35 left.

The teams traded points after that, playing to two ties before Mobile took back the lead, 49-47, at the 6:26 mark. The Rams went up by four, 51-47, after that, their largest lead of the game, but the Panthers were able to tie it up 51-51 at the 4:10 mark. The teams traded baskets, with Mobile pulling ahead and BSC tying it back up 53-53, after which the Rams went up by three with only 39 seconds left in the game. BSC senior Melanie Short made a layup and was fouled with 15 seconds left, but missed the free throw, allowing Mobile to maintain a 56-55 lead. The Rams then missed the front end of a one-and-one with 11 seconds left, and BSC senior Alex Adams pulled down the rebound. A long pass from senior Caroline King found senior Erin Moore under the basket, who made the layup, putting BSC up 57-56, and was fouled with three seconds left in the game. She made the free throw to give the Panthers a two-point lead, and Mobile was unable to get a shot off before time expired in the game.

Short led BSC with 18 points on 8-10 shooting, and led all players with 10 rebounds. Moore scored 15 points on 5-7 shooting, and King had 10 points. Adams led with four assists.

Deonica McCormick led Mobile with 18 points, four rebounds, and six steals, followed by Briana Edwards with 14 points and a team-high five rebounds.

BSC out-shot Mobile from the field, hitting 23-46 (.500), and from three-point range, sinking 4-16 (.250). Mobile shot 22-67 (.328) overall and 1-6 (.167) from beyond the arc. The Rams were more efficient at the free throw line, however, going 11-13 (.846), while the Panthers were 8-12 (.667).

BSC struggled with turnovers, giving the ball up 34 times, but out-rebounded Mobile 46-27. The Rams turned it over 12 times.

The Panthers are back on action on Monday, Nov. 26, traveling to face Maryville College at 6 p.m. Eastern. BSC returns home on Friday, Nov. 30, to take on Emory at 6 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum.