Men's Basketball Recap (Week 1) - Around the SCAC

Men's Basketball Recap (Week 1) - Around the SCAC

SUWANEE, Ga. - After the first week of play in the 2011-12 basketball season, only two Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference men's teams remain undefeated. Nationally-ranked Birmingham-Southern and Sewanee. Sewanee is off to its best start since the 2001-02 season.

Birmingham-Southern has scored over 100 points in two of its first three games while Sewanee is 3-0 for the first time in 10 years.


Austin College got the season off to a strong start last week, going 2-1 against UT-Tyler, Howard Payne and St. Mary’s (Minn.). The ‘Roos opened the year with a 76-72 victory over UT-Tyler at home, getting 18 points and seven rebounds from Antoine Thompson in his first collegiate game and 14 points from Josh Saunders, while Jordan Hancock added 13 points and six assists in the victory. The ‘Roos then traveled to the University of Dallas Classic, where they fell to HPU 89-80 on Friday despite 19 points from Saunders and 15 from Thompson as four Austin College players reached double figures. The ‘Roos rebounded on Saturday with a 67-52 victory over St. Mary’s, getting 15 points and 11 boards from Walter Phillips and 10 apiece from Ransom Okpala and Hancock. The ‘Roos are in action again tomorrow when they travel to Richardson, Texas to take on the University of Texas-Dallas.
No. 22 Birmingham-Southern went 3-0 this week to open the season, including two home wins to extend its home win streak to 32 games. The Panthers defeated Huntingdon on the road on Tuesday, 81-79, then came home for two big wins against University of the Ozarks, 103-80, on Friday, and Berry College, 103-55, on Sunday. Senior Jasen Jonus led BSC against Huntingdon with 19 points, and senior Caleb Lee and junior Kevin Kegarise led with 17 points against Ozarks. Kegarise led all players against Berry with 22 points. For the week, the Panthers shot 52.7 percent from the field, 49.4 percent from three-point range, and 74.3 percent from the free throw line. BSC plays only one game this week, hosting LaGrange on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
No. 20 Centre played three games this week, winning two and losing one. Centre opened the season Tuesday night against Maryville College. The Colonels rode the hot shooting of Greg Ross to a 20-point win. Ross had a game high 32 points on 13-17 shooting. Bryon Ellis and Jeff Mullaney scored nine points apiece for Centre in the Maryville game, while Josh Karsner and Chris Taylor chipped in eight each. On Friday night, the Colonels competed in the opening round of the Mount St. Joseph Classic against John Carroll. Behind 25 points each from Ross and Ellis and 23 from Mullaney, Centre prevailed 92-91 in a thrilling overtime classic. The next night Centre lost the championship game to the host MSJ in a defensive struggle, 55-49.

Colorado College opened the season with a pair of losses to Division II opponents from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference at the 2011 Al Kaly Classic in Pueblo, Colo. Colorado State-Pueblo amassed a 51-27 advantage on the glass en route to a 71-51 victory over the Tigers on Friday night. Senior guard Jeremiah Waters and sophomore guard Jake Tramutolo each drained four shots from behind the arc and shared the team lead with 12 points. On Saturday afternoon, New Mexico Highlands drained 11 shots from three-point range to claim a 71-49 win over Colorado College. Milne and Rewoldt each finished with 14 points to pace the Tigers, who shot just .367 from the floor and .182 from behind the arc. Rewoldt also led the team with seven rebounds. Colorado College plays another RMAC foe, Metro State College of Denver, on Tuesday before preparing for its SCAC opener against Southwestern on Dec. 2.

Dallas (1-2) tipped-off their 2011-12 season on Tuesday at the University of Texas-Dallas in Richardson. The Crusaders were competitive early versus the Comets, but fell 81-54 due to stagnant shooting down the stretch. Later in the week, Dallas hosted the "Tip-Off Classic" at the Maher Athletic Center, battling the likes of St. Mary's University (Minn.) and Howard Payne University. On Friday, the Crusaders picked up their first win of the season, with a thrilling 75-71 victory over St. Mary's behind a ruckus crowd. On Saturday, to wrap-up the "Tip-Off Classic," Dallas hung with undefeated Howard Payne throughout much of the game, but the Yellow Jackets prevailed in the end, 72-67. Three road games are on tap for the Crusaders this week. The team will play Arlington Baptist College (Tuesday, 7 p.m.), before heading out to California to square-off with Occidental College (Friday, 2 p.m.) and the California Institute of Technology (Saturday, 12 p.m.) in the Occidental/Cal Tech "Thanksgiving Classic."

Hendrix started the 2011-12 season with an 0-3 record. On Tuesday, Hendrix traveled to Ozarks (Ark.) and lost 80-60. Senior guard Ammon Martin tied his career-high with 21 points and had four assists and another career-best of five steals. The Warriors returned home for the weekend’s Cliff Garrison Classic, losing to Greenville 79-60 on Friday and to 62-46 to Westminster (Mo.) on Saturday. Against Greenville, senior guard Chris Goodman scored 16 points and sophomore forward Colton Primm had 16 points and 15 rebounds. Against Westminster, Primm had 10 points and nine rebounds. Primm, from Fayetteville, Ark., leads the SCAC with 11.7 rebounds after the first week of play. The Warriors will travel to Rust College in Holly Springs, Miss. for their only game this week.

Millsaps began its season this week as they went 2-1 on the road. The Majors used a three pointer from junior Nick Cortese with 10 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime while Senior Jeff Brown notched the win for Millsaps with a tip in during the overtime period with 10 seconds remaining to defeat the Pensacola Christian Eagles 65-63 in overtime on Tuesday night. It is the second consecutive year that Millsaps has used overtime to take their opening game. The Majors came back later that weekend with a trip to Oglethorpe for a preseason tournament where they fell behind in the first half to a Rose-Hulman team that was on fire. The Majors tried to narrow in the gap, but could not overcome the deficit as they fell to the Engineers, 69-60. They finished the weekend with a low scoring battle with Millikan that ended with excellent defense by the Majors, especially in the second half as they held Millikan to 14 points to win 43-40.

Oglethorpe its season this past week by going 1-2 overall in losing at LaGrange (L, 77-59), topping Millikin (W, 68-42) and falling to Rose-Hulman (L, 68-50). Against LaGrange, the Petrels managed to whittle the margin down to 11 at the break (40-29). Against Millikin,  the Petrels nailed 5 of their first 6 three-point attempts of the contest, and 13 treys overall, en route to the blowout win over the Big Blue out of Decatur, Illinois. Against Rose-Hulman, the Fightin' Engineers used an 18-3 run midway through the first half to open up a 15 point cushion and position themselves for the win. Oglethorpe briefly trimmed the lead to single digits in the early stages of the second half but Rose-Hulman quickly closed the door by rattling off 13 straight points to open up a 20 point cushion. The Petrels are now 1-2 on the young season and will travel to face Maryville next Saturday at 6 p.m.
Rhodes opened the season at the Cliff Garrison Tip-Off Classic hosted by Hendrix College. The Lynx started on a positive note with a victory against the Westminster College (Mo.) Blue Jays, 69-53. Four lynx contributed double figure scoring, led by sophomore Johnny Dunavant scoring a game-high 12 points. Junior forward Theo Hartwell notched the team’s first double-double scoring 11 points to go along with 11 rebounds. In the first action of their career, freshmen Geoff Livsey and Kevin Chien were able to add 11 points apiece. In the second night of a doubleheader, the Lynx fell to Greenville College, 86-62. Rhodes out-rebounded the Panthers, but a dreadful night from the field (36.7%) did not help the cause. Junior Andrew Galow led the Lynx with 16 points on 5 of 7 shooting. For the weekend, Hartwell averaged 9.5 points per game to go along with 8.5 rebounds per game.
After starting the season with three straight wins, Sewanee is off to its best start since the 2001-02 campaign. The Tigers picked up convincing wins at Johnson University, and then against Boyce College and Free Will Baptist. Individually, junior Tyler Brown is averaging a double-double this season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Southwestern opened the 2011-12 season with a flurry of action, opening on the road and hosting the Southwestern Classic at home. The Pirates are struggling to find themselves as a team and have opened the season 0-3 with losses at Hardin Simmons Tuesday, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Friday and Schreiner Saturday. Southwestern opened the game well in Abilene, trailing by just five at halftime, but couldn't stop the Cowboys in the second half as they were out-scored 58-35 in the second frame to fall 91-63. It was a difficult first half on Friday as Southwestern got down early, trailing 42-17 at halftime. A different SU team took the floor in the second half and scored 10 more points than the Staggs in the second half, but the deficit was too much to overcome as they fell 66-51. Against Schreiner the Pirates committed 23 turnovers in the game and two to open overtime as they dropped their third game 86-79.
Trinity opened the season with a 2-1 record over the past week, earning wins over Schreiner and Concordia to start the year, then falling to Claremont on Saturday. The Tigers came from behind in the second half of both of their first two games to earn wins – including a three-pointer with just seven seconds left to win the season opener at Schreiner. It marked the first time since 2008-09 that Trinity opened the season with a win – also against Schreiner. Trinity will remain on the road during the Thanksgiving Weekend, facing off against Virginia Wesleyan and Randolph-Macon on Friday and Saturday.  Prior to that, though, the Tigers will face Texas Lutheran in nearby Seguin on Tuesday night.

For the complete SCAC Men's Hoops Weekly for Week 1, click here.