After seven ties and 14 lead changes during the last 15 minutes of the game, the Birmingham-Southern College men’s basketball team connected on its last four free throws in the last 50 seconds to clinch a 94-91 win over Mississippi University for Women on Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama.
It was the second victory this season over the Owls for the Panthers, who crushed The W 99-60 on Nov. 20 at the Sewanee Classic in Sewanee, Tennessee. But aside from the outcome, the two games could not have been more different.
For the first time this season, The W led at the half, taking a 51-42 edge into the locker room. Four players scored in double figures for the Owls, led again by Terryonte Thomas, who surpassed 20 points for the fifth time in six games.
Thomas finished with 26 points, and his 9 rebounds and 7 assists also lead the team. Thomas Wright followed up his 9-of-11, 18-point performance Saturday at Huntingdon College with an 11-of-12, 23-point effort against Birmingham-Southern, adding 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocked shots.
Junior guard Shon Wright tallied season highs in points (15), minutes (31) and 3-points shots made and attempted (4 of 6). He had registered season highs in rebounds (15) and assists (4) in Saturday’s game.
The fourth double-digit scorer for the Owls was Terry Coleman Jr., who came off the bench to contribute 10 points and 4 rebounds in 15 minutes.
The Owls led by as many as 12 during the first half, making 9 of their first 10 shots from the floor for a 21-9 edge, before taking that 9-point halftime lead. But the Panthers’ (5-4) chipped away to open the second half, eventually catching the Owls at 54-54 at the 15:22 mark.
A Coleman jumper in the paint put The W (1-9) ahead 91-90 before the Panthers scored the last 4 points from the free throw line.
The Owls had no answer for Christian Stewart, the Panthers’ 6-foot-7 senior forward, who scored a career-high 37 points, shooting 14 of 20 from the floor and 9 of 11 from the line in 28 minutes. Stewart scored 12 of his points during the final 8 minutes and hit the two free throws that put the Panthers up 92-91.
After a brief holiday hiatus, The W will travel to Rhodes College for a Dec. 29 game in Memphis, Tennessee. The Lynx defeated the Owls 77-75 on Dec. 7 in Columbus when Mac James buried a 3-pointer with 7 seconds remaining.