SUWANEE,Ga. - The last weekend of conference play of 2011 saw preseason Eastern Division favorite Centre College knock off 16th-ranked Birmingham-Southern College and hand the Panthers their first loss of the season.
AROUND THE SCAC
Austin College went 2-1 on the week to improve
to 6-4 overall and 2-1 in SCAC play, getting a win in St. Louis
against Fontbonne last Monday before splitting with Southwestern
and Trinity over the weekend. The ‘Roos got 14 points and 15
rebounds from Alen Michael in a 67-60 win over Fontbonne and Josh
Saunders and Antoine Thompson each scored 14 in a 60-42 victory
over the Pirates before the ‘Roos closed out the weekend with
a heartbreaking 54-53 loss at Trinity despite 16 points and 12
boards from Michael. Michael averaged 12.3 points and 12.7 rebounds
per game to lead the ‘Roos for the week.
No. 22 Birmingham-Southern split in conference action this weekend, suffering its first loss of the season on Friday to Centre, 72-65, and rebounding on Sunday with a 86-65 win over Sewanee. In the loss to Centre, junior Zac Richards led with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, followed by senior Jasen Jonus with 14 points and junior Blaise White with 10. Jonus also led with five rebounds and five assists. In the win against Sewanee, Jonus and sophomore Griffin Schamp led the Panthers with 12 points apiece, while senior Caleb Lee and sophomore Nick Murphy recorded 11 points each and junior Kevin Kegarise scored 10. Jonus also led with eight rebounds, and Schamp led with four assists. The Panthers take a break for the holidays before returning to action Dec. 29 and 30 at the Big Easy Challenge in New Orleans, La., taking on Southern Maine and Clark College.
Centre played twice this week after taking finals last week and they came away with two home conference wins. On Friday night, the Colonels played host to unbeaten and #16 ranked Birmingham-Southern. Behind hot shooting, Centre jumped out to a big lead in the first half. BSC went on a run after halftime to tie the score, but clutch baskets by Matt Griggs and Collin Lopez helped the Colonels absorb the BSC counter-punch as Centre pulled away in the final minutes, winning 72-65. Greg Ross led all scorers with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Lopez scored 12, while Griggs and Jeff Mullaney scored 11 apiece. The next game was Sunday afternoon against Oglethorpe. Most of the second half was a back and forth affair, but a late run helped propel the Colonels to a 65-55 win over the Petrels. Bryon Ellis scored a game high 18 points, while Josh Karsner scored 17 and Greg Ross added 12.
Colorado College saw its share of first place in the West Division disappear with a 65-58 loss at Hendrix. Sophomore guard Ryan Milne poured in a season-high 25 points and grabbed a career-best eight rebounds, but the Tigers shot a dismal 2-for-15 from behind the arc and finished the game shooting just 38-percent from the floor. Freshman forward Chris Lesnansky added 19 points, six rebounds and five steals before fouling out with 3:08 remaining in the game. Led by sophomore forward Daniel Webb, who pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, CC out-rebounded the Warriors 42-33. The difference was at the offensive end where the Tigers had a 15-6 advantage. Milne currently leads the conference in assists per game (5.0) and minutes plated (37.2), and ranks third in scoring (15.3) and tied for 17th in rebounding (4.8). Colorado College is idle until Dec. 29-30 when it travels to New Orleans to face Husson University and UMass-Boston in the 2011 Big Easy Challenge.
Hendrix picked up their second consecutive win by holding off Colorado College 65-58 on Saturday. The Warriors received a big boost with 31 points coming off the bench. Senior center Nick Heathscott led the way off the bench with a season-best 16 points and seven rebounds. Senior forward Josh Graham also came off the bench for a career-high nine points and freshman guard Nathan McCubbin hit a couple of three-pointers for six points to go with two assists and two steals. Ammon Martin, who started, had 13 points and seven boards and junior guard Jaren Riley netted 12 points and three assists. Sophomore forward Colton Primm added nine points, six rebounds and two blocks. The Warriors will travel to Lexington, Ky. on Tuesday to face Transylvania in the Don Lane Classic. On Wednesday, Hendrix will face either #17 Wabash or Baldwin-Wallace.
Millsaps returned to action after an 11 day layoff as they traveled to Georgia to take on Covenant College and LaGrange College. The week started on Thursday with an incredible defensive effort as Millsaps forced 20 turnovers to seven and used a run in the second half to knock off the Covenant Scots 52-49. The win improves the Majors record to 5-2. Sophomore Kyle Kinnear led all scorers with 13 points to go along with six rebounds. Poor shooting doomed Millsaps as they struggled to get into any offensive rhythm in a 72-55 loss to LaGrange. Cortese led Millsaps with 16 points. The Majors fall to 5-3 and will take next week off with the Christmas Holiday approaching. They will be back in action on December 29 at Belhaven University in Jackson for the Magnolia Classic.
Oglethorpe (4-7, 0-3 SCAC) dropped a pair of SCAC contests to Sewanee (61-60) and Centre (65-55) during the week. Against Sewanee, the Petrels were led by Andrew Seioff’s 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting. Steioff also added three rebounds, three assists and a block. Also chipping in for OU was Alec Pitts and Branden Jovaag who each scored 11 points in the loss. Against Centre, the Stormy Petrels were led by Jovaag’s 13 points. Also scoring in double-figures for OU was Christian Molinet (12 points) and Steioff (10 points). Steioff also added five rebounds and shot 4 of 7 from the field. For the week, Steioff shot 70 percent (14 of 20). Oglethorpe returns to action on January 3, 2012 when they host Berry.
Rhodes moved to 7-3 on the season as they split a pair of weekend games against Huntingdon and the University of Chicago. The Lynx used a solid second half to open up the game on Saturday against the Huntingdon Hawks, cruising to an 84 – 59 victory. Freshman Tripp Drummond took advantage of early playing time, scoring a team high 13-points on a perfect shooting night (5-5). On Sunday, Rhodes used a 23-6 run in the first eight minutes of the second half to erase a 20 point deficit. The Lynx however could not grab the lead over the last twelve minutes of the game, getting as close as two with five minutes on the clock. University of Chicago finished an offensive showcase with an 88-79 win. Rhodes was led by Junior Andrew Galow, totaling 28 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. The Lynx play next at #5 Emory University on December 29.
Sewanee returned to SCAC action this past weekend. First, on Friday, Sewanee earned a 61-60 win over Oglethorpe. In that game, the Tigers trailed by a 35-19 score at halftime. Oglethorpe had the ball and a 60-59 lead with 18 seconds to play, when things turned around for the Tigers. After Oglethorpe called timeout to set up its offensive set, the Tigers defense stepped up. On the ensuing play Sewanee trapped Oglethorpe guard Alec Pitts at midcourt. With two defenders on him, Bryant then stripped the ball away from Pitts, which led to a fast break for the Tigers. Despite being fouled on the play, Bryant hit the ensuing lay-up, which gave Sewanee a 61-60 lead with 18 seconds remaining and Sewanee held on for the win. On Sunday, a slow start in the first half impeded Sewanee’s chances against No. 16 Birmingham-Southern. BSC built a 30-point halftime lead en route to a 86-65 win.
Southwestern won its first game of the season this week, defeating the University of Dallas on Saturday night after falling to Austin College Friday. The split moves SU to 1-9 on the year, 1-3 in the SCAC. The Pirates' defense was on display on Friday night as they held Austin College to 25 points below their season average, but weren't able to string together an offensive attack, shooting just 31.9% from the floor and 20% from three point range. Southwestern was outscored 37-19 in the second half and fell 60-42. On Saturday night is was a big second half by SU that launched the Pirates to victory as they outscored the Crusaders 44-27 in the second frame to win 63-52. Free throws down the stretch of the second half allowed the Pirates to pull away. SU hits the road once again as they head to San Antonio for three games this week at the Trinity Classic.
Trinity opened up its home schedule with two SCAC wins this past weekend, defeating both Dallas and Austin College. The Tigers cruised to an 87-69 win over Dallas in its 2011-12 home debut, then fought off a tough Austin College team for a 54-53 win in the weekend finale. Trinity held an 11-point halftime lead, but Austin fought back late to have a chance at the end. The Tigers were held scoreless over the final three minutes, but a potential buzzer-beater by Austin missed, and Trinity earned the weekend sweep. The Tigers will host the three-day Trinity University National Invitational tournament this week, playing three times in three days as part of the event. There will be a total of 13 teams participating in the tournament, and Trinity will match up against George Fox (Tuesday), Willamette (Wednesday), and Pacific (Ore.) (Thursday).
For the complete SCAC Men's Hoops Weekly for Week 5, click here.