Second-half surge not enough as Panthers fall to Huntingdon at home, 58-57
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Despite mounting a comeback after trailing by as much as 17 in the first half, the Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team dropped a one-point decision to Huntingdon, 58-57, Monday evening in Bill Battle Coliseum.
The Hawks remain unbeaten at 4-0, while the Panthers drop to 4-4. It was Huntingdon's first-ever win against Birmingham-Southern in the sport of women's basketball; the Panthers were previously 4-0 against the Hawks.
Both teams were slow to get started offensively, with the first point of the game coming on a free throw by BSC sophomore Ashley Curry at the 17:27 mark. Huntingdon's Raven Prater hit a three-pointer on the next possession to give the Hawks the lead, which they would hold for the duration of the half, going up by as much as 17, 22-5, at the 9:00 mark before leading 31-22 at halftime.
The Hawks held onto the lead for the first nine minutes of the second half as well, and were up 45-34 with 12:19 remaining before the Panthers used a 9-0 run to tie it up, 45-45, at the 10:26 mark for the first tie of the game. The teams traded baskets after that before another Curry free throw gave BSC its first lead since early in the first half, 48-47 with 7:52 left to play.
There were seven more lead changes and three more ties after that point, and BSC led by as much as three, 57-54 with 2:36 left in the game, but Huntingdon scored four unanswered points down the stretch to take a 58-57 lead with 1:02 remaining. The Panthers were not able to find the basket in the final minute, missing two shots and then turning the ball over on their final chance to score.
For Huntingdon, Eisha Person led all players with 18 points, followed by Mackenzie Garmany with 13. Tan Munford led all players with 15 rebounds, and Jodie Thomas pulled down 10 caroms.
BSC shot a season-low 25.8 percent (17-66) from the field and shot 39.1 percent (9-23) from three-point range. The Panthers hit 58.3 percent (14-24) from the free throw line. Huntingdon fared slightly better, hitting 33.8 percent (22-65) from the field, but was only 24 percent (6-25) from beyond the arc and 53.3 percent (8-15) from the free throw line.
The Hawks out-rebounded the Panthers 53-47 and both teams struggled handling the ball—Huntingdon turned it over 27 times, only one more than BSC's 26.
The Panthers take a break for Christmas for the next 12 days, returning to action Dec. 29-30 in the Bancorp South Holiday Classic, hosted by Rhodes in Memphis, Tenn. BSC will face Ferrum Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. and Westminster Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. The Panthers then return to Bill Battle Coliseum to host Rust College for the first game of the new year, Jan. 5 at 3 p.m.