Women's Basketball hangs on to defeat Centenary, 79-77

Melanie Short
Melanie Short

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—After leading by 22 in the first half, the Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team held off a late second-half surge from Centenary to win 79-77 at home, Sunday afternoon in the Sheraton Birmingham Classic.

The Panthers move to 4-7 overall while the Ladies fall to 3-9.

With the exception of one tie in the first two minutes of the game, BSC held a comfortable lead for the entire first half, going up by as much as 22, 42-20, at the 4:02 mark. The Panthers led 44-25 at halftime.

BSC maintained a double-digit lead until mid-way through the second half, when Centenary put together a 14-3 run to cut the lead to 65-64 with 7:11 left to play. The Panthers clung to a small lead until the 1:30 mark when a three-pointer by Vashni Sharp-Moore tied it up 73-73 for the first time since early in the first half. The Ladies would never take the lead, although they were able to tie it up twice more after that, including a 77-77 knot with 20 seconds left. Centenary sent BSC to the free throw line with four seconds left, where senior Erin Moore made both to put the Panthers back up by two, and the Ladies were unable to get a shot off before time expired.

Senior Melanie Short led BSC with 25 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Senior Caroline King also recorded 14 points, while senior Sydney Darnall and junior Elizabeth Bromirski had 10 points each. Freshman Kelsey Brown led with six assists.

Dionecia Warr and Sharp-Moore recorded 31 and 28 points, respectively, to lead Centenary. Sharp-Moore also led on the boards with 11 rebounds and she also had five assists and three steals.

Short, King, and Warr were all named to the All-Tournament Team, as were Sarah Womack and Catherine Eckert from Rhodes and Nevia Lewis from Wesleyan. Rhodes defeated Wesleyan in the first game today, 82-52.

BSC shot 27-69 (.391) from the field, 10-24 (.417) from three-point range, and 15-19 (.789) from the free throw line. Centenary was 27-74 (.365) overall, 5-20 (.250) from beyond the arc, and 18-21 (.857) at the line.

The Panthers pulled down 50 rebounds, seven more than the Ladies, while committing 21 turnovers, nine more than Centenary.

BSC is at home again next weekend, hosting Southern Athletic Association rivals Sewanee and Centre on Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum.