Birmingham-Southern, Centre, Trinity & Rhodes Advance To Semifinals

Birmingham-Southern, Centre, Trinity & Rhodes Advance To Semifinals

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Birmingham-Southern College and Homewood High School are serving as host sites for the 2012 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference men's and women's quarterfinal basketball games. Official Tournament Website | Live Video

SCAC Quarterfinal Game One Recap

Birmingham-Southern College, the East's top-ranked team, earned the program's first-ever Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament win with an 82-59 victory over the West's fourth-ranked University of Dallas Crusaders at Bill Battle Coliseum. Box Score

The ninth-ranked Panthers extended their home winning streak to 43 straight games while winning their 18th straight game of the season. Birmingham-Southern opened up a 37-23 halftime lead and never trailed in advancing to the SCAC semifinals. Birmingham-Southern shot nearly 49 percent (17 of 35) in the second half and nearly 44 percent (31 of 71) for the game.

The Panthers improved to 25-1 while showing their depth as five players scored eight or more points led by a team high 15 points from senior guard Jasen Jonus. Junior forward Blaise White added 14 points while Kevin Kegrise (eight points), Griffin Schamp (eight points) and Larry Thomas (12 points) rounded out the balanced scoring attack.

Appearing in its first-ever SCAC tournament, Dallas was led by Joe Stephens who scored 13 points on 4 of 8 shooting and nearly notched a double-double with eight rebounds. Tanner Bruffey was just two points shy of a double-double as well as he tallied eight points and 10 rebounds. The Crusaders, who won just four games all last season, finished the season at 7-19 overall.

Birmingham-Southern returns to action on Saturday, February 25 in the semifinals when they take on the winner of the #2W Austin College/#3E Centre College matchup. That game is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT at Birmingham-Southern's Bill Battle Coliseum.

Blaise White (BSC) interview | Chris Graves (BSC) interview | Jarred Samples
(UD) interview

SCAC Quarterfinal Game Two Recap

Defending SCAC champion Centre College jumped out 32-20 halftime lead and and to withstand a furious Austin College rally over the final 10 minutes of the game and advanced to the semifinals with a 56-52 win over Austin College. Box Score

Playing as a No. 3 seed for the first time since 2006, the Colonels led by as many as 16 points in the second half (36-20) before Austin College strated trimming the lead slowly but surely.

The No. 2 West seeded Kangaroos (15-11) eventually tied the game at 48-48 with 2:44 remaining thanks to a 19-5 run that was capped by a Walter Phillips free throw. From there, the Colonels took a 54-49 lead with 30 seconds before Phillips hit a 3-pointer in the corner to cut the Centre lead to two.

Centre (17-8) gave Austin College a chance after the Colonels' Jeff Mullaney, a 73 percent free throw shooter, missed two free throws. The Kangaroos' Kevin Graham then missed a jumper at the other end with 11 seconds before two Donovan Whiteside free throws provided the winning margin for Centre.

Centre improved to 3-0 all-time in the SCAC tournament against Austin College. The Colonels have beaten the Kangaroos in three of the last five SCAC tournaments (2008, 2009, 2012).

Leading the Colonels was first-year guard Chris Taylor. Playing in his first SCAC tournament, the Louisville Ky. native scored a team-high 13 points on 6 of 7 shooting while adding three rebounds and three assists. Senior Greg Ross and sophomore Collin Lopez each added nine points.

Austin College was led by junior guard/forward Antoine Thompson's game-high 18 points on 7 of 13 shooting. Also scoring in double-figures was junior forward Walter Phillips with 11. He was also 2 for 3 from beyond the arc.

Austin College used its size advantage as the Kangaroos out-rebounded Centre by a 41-35 margin. However, Centre clamped down defensively and forced 20 Austin College turnovers. The Colonels, on the other hand, turned the ball over just 13 times.

Centre advances to the SCAC semifinals for the eighth consecutive season where they will square off against East Division rival and tournament host Birmingham-Southern. The Colonels and Panthers will meet for the third time this season on Saturday, Feburary 24 at 1 p.m. CT. Both teams split their two regular season meetings.

Chris Taylor (CEN) interview | Greg Mason (CEN) interview | Rodney Wecker
(AC) interview

SCAC Quarterfinal Game Three Recap

The West's top seed, Trinity University, avenged its regular season loss to Sewanee: University of the South and advanced to the SCAC semfinals for the sixth consecutive year with a 60-53 win Friday evening at Bill Battle Coliseum. Box Score

The game was a back and forth affair from the outset as the game saw three ties and six lead changes. Trinity (18-8) jumped out to a 33-30 halftime lead and extended the lead thanks to a 9-1 run to start the second half.

Sewanee (12-13) would not go away. The Purple Tigers trailed by as much as 11 points in the second half before Trent Williams 3-pointer cut Trinity's lead to 48-45 with 6:36 to play. Two minutes later Sewanee cut the Trinity Tiger lead to 52-50 thanks to a Lewis Affronti 3-pointer. That was as close as Sewanee got as Trinity withstood the rally to advance to Saturday play.

Trinity was led by sophomore forward Zach Lambert's game-high 15 points. Lambert added five rebounds, two assists and shot 50 percent (7 of 14) from the floor. Sophomore forward Robert Kitzinger also scored in double-figures for Trinity as he tallied 10 points.

Sewanee was led by junior forward Tyler Brown's double-double. Brown scored 11 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the losing effort. Senior guard/forward Trent Williams added nine points and was 2 for 3 from beyond the arc. Valention Bryant chipped in with six points and five assists.

Trinity advances to the semifinals on Saturday, February 25 against the winner of the night's final quarterfinal contest between Colorado College and Rhodes College. With tonight's win, the Trinity Tigers extend their winning streak to nine games.

Zach Lambert (TU) interview | Pat Cunningham (TU) interview | Bubba Smith
(UOS) interview

SCAC Quarterfinal Game Four Recap

Rhodes College, the No. 2 seed out of the East, picked up its first SCAC tournament victory since 2006 with a 64-53 win over the West's No. 3 seeded Colorado College Tigers. The win improves the Lynx to 18-8 while the Tigers see their season come to an end at 12-13. Box Score

The Lynx extended their winning streak to four games thanks to the performance of senior forward Kory Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick scored a game-high 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting and nearly posted a double-double as he tallied nine rebounds. He also was a perfect 6 for 6 from the free throw line.

Rhodes also received solid contributions from sophomore guard Patrick McGrail who scored 15 points on 5 of 6 shooting as well as junior foward Theo Hartwell. Hartwell chipped in 14 points on 4 of 8 shooting to go along with five rebounds.

The Lynx jumped out a 13-11 lead midway through the first half and eventually pushed the lead up to six a few minutes later. Colorado College, however, responded and was able to go into the intermission trailing just 23-21.

Colorado College was led by sophomore guard Ryan Milne's team-high 19 points. He also added six rebounds and four assists. Junior forward Iam Rewoldt added 17 points and 10 rebounds on 7 of 8 shooting and added two assists.

The Tigers outshot Rhodes in the first half (40.9 percent vs. 34.8 percent) but the Lynx came out firing in the second half. Rhodes shot a sizzling 52.2 percent (12 of 23) in the second half compared to Colrado College's 37.5 percent (12 of 32).

Rhodes led by as much as 15 points in the second half before Colorado College methodically chippied away at the Lynx's lead. Trailing 45-30 with 8:18 to play, Colorado College used a 14-5 run over a span of just over 5 minutes to cut Rhodes' lead to 50-44. The Lynx however, were able to withstand the rally and earn the win.

With the win, Rhodes advances to the SCAC semfinals for the first time since 2006 and will square off against the West's No. 1 seed in Trinity on Saturday, February 25 at 3 p.m. CT at Bill Battle Coliseum. The last time Rhodes made the semifinals, they upset No. 1 seed Trinity at home for their first ever semifinal appearance.

Kory Kilpatrick (RC) interview | Mike DeGeorge (RC) interview | Andy Partee
(COLO) interview