BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team lost to rival Sewanee 88-85 in a hard-fought overtime game at Bill Battle Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
In a game that saw 12 ties and 10 lead changes, the Panthers and Tigers battled back-and-forth for the entire 40 minutes, each team holding an advantage over the other in respective halves of the game. One team would go on a run only to see the other turn the tables and swing the advantage in their direction.
The turning point for BSC in regulation came in the final five minutes when the Panthers turned around a nine-point deficit with hard-nosed defensive stops, a pair of clutch three-pointers from Evan Sigler (Franklin, Tenn./Franklin HS) and Ben Spence (Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers HS), and an and-one lay-up by Christian Stewart (Irondale, Ala./Shades Valley HS) to pull the Panthers within two points of the Tigers.
Three straight made free throws by Spence eventually tied the game up 75-75 with 18 seconds left and the game went to overtime.
In the OT period, Sewanee hit the first basket and from there the Panthers were unable to regain the lead. Each shot crucial in the five minutes of OT, the Panthers came up just short and were downed by three points in the end.
Spence was BSC's leading scorer and rebounding in the game, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 boards for his second double-double of the season. Stewart finished with 20 points and six rebounds while Bruce Bright Jr. (Birmingham, Ala./John Carroll HS) and Evan Sigler (Franklin, Tenn./Franklin HS) also had good games, coming off the bench to hit some big shots and score 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Statistically, the two sides were nearly identical in the contest. BSC, 29-of-67 from the field, shot 43.3 percent in the game while Sewanee shot 43.9 percent going 29-of-66 from the field. Both teams shot more than 25 three-pointers with BSC shooting 38.5 percent from beyond the arch and Sewanee hitting 40 percent of its threes. In the assists, rebounds and turnovers categories, neither team had an advantage bigger than four.
With the loss, Birmingham-Southern drops to 4-10 overall and 0-3 in the Southern Athletic Association. The Panthers will be on the road for the next two conference weekends, traveling to Hendrix for their next game on Friday, Jan. 10.
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