Birmingham Southern saw four players score in double figures as the Panthers edged out LaGrange College in a 93-91 thriller on the campus on Emory University in Atlanta, GA Friday evening. With the win, Birmingham Southern keeps its season alive and advances to the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball tournament. BSC also extended its winning streak to 19 games with the victory and are now 23-6 on the season while LaGrange finishes its year at 20-9.
Leading Birmingham Southern was Harrison Deneka who scored a team-high 20 points and added eight rebounds. Alex Avery chipped in with 16 points and grabbed a game-high 14 boards. Ross Welch and Ian Thom added 16 points apiece for the Panthers.
For LaGrange, Alex Bonner posted a game-best 25 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Justyn Olson totaled 21 points with Braxton Ford and Mark Wagner following with 19 and 17 points, respectively.
In a game of runs, it only makes sense that this contest was decided by one. Trailing 78-73 with 5:18 remaining, BSC used a 12-0 run spanning 3:03 minutes to build an 85-78 lead that they would not relinquish.
“I think that (12-0 run) was a function of us finally getting some stops,” Birmingham Southern Head Coach Chris Graves said after the game. “We didn’t foul and continued to attack them inside.”
“I was really proud of our guys and how they performed in a real tough and evenly matched game,” Graves added.
Birmingham Southern awaits the winner of Emory vs. Covenant in the second round which will be played on Saturday, March 5th at 7:00 PM inside the Woodruff P.E. Center on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, GA.