SUWANEE, Ga. - The first weekend of conference play is in the books and four teams remain undefeated in SCAC play. In the East, Rhodes (2-0) and Birmingham-Southern (1-0) lead their division while Colorado College (2-0) and Austin College (1-0) sit atop the West division.
AROUND THE SCAC
Austin College (3-3, 1-0 SCAC) won its SCAC
season opener over nearby Dallas, 65-59. The Kangaroos were led by
Josh Saunders who scored a team-high 18 points on 4 of 6 shooting.
He also was 9 for 11 from the free throw line. Saunders added five
rebounds and two assists in the win. Austin College used a stifling
defense as the ‘Roos limited Dallas to just 22 first half
points on 6 of 26 shooting (23.1 percent). Ransom Okpala gave
Austin College an 11 point lead (40-29) with 13:51 left in the game
before the Crusaders cut the Kangaroo lead to 45-44 with a 15-5 run
midway through the second half. However, Austin College held on and
earned the win. The ‘Roos return to action on December 12
when they travel to Fontbonne before returning to SCAC play on
December 16 and 17 traveling to Southwestern and Trinity
No. 18 Birmingham-Southern remained undefeated with two wins this week, defeating Huntingdon at home on Wednesday, 93-75, extending its home win streak to 34 games, and then beating Oglethorpe on road on Saturday in a thriller, 63-62. Against Huntingdon, junior Kevin Kegarise led all players with 22 points, followed by junior Zac Richards with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting and a game-high eight rebounds. Junior Blaise White was also impressive with 10 assists and three steals. Seniors Jasen Jonus and Caleb Lee also added 14 and 12 points, respectively. In the game against Oglethorpe, the Stormy Petrels led for nearly the entire time, and the Panthers stormed back down the stretch as freshman Larry Thomas hit a three-pointer with one second remaining to put BSC up 73-72 for the win. Thomas led all players with a career-high 24 points and also had three steals. Sophomore Jason Holland led with five rebounds, and he and Jonus led with three assists apiece.
Centre took to the road this past week for their first games in conference play. On Friday, they traveled to Jackson to face Millsaps. A 25-5 run in the first half turned a seven-point deficit into a 13-point lead and the Colonels never looked back, winning 65-50 over the Majors. Senior Greg Ross scored 17 points to lead Centre, while senior Jeff Mullaney and freshman Josh Karsner pitched in with 16 points apiece. The Colonels then traveled to Memphis for a Sunday game against the Rhodes Lynx. Centre got off to a hot start thanks to the sharpshooting of junior Bryon Ellis, but Rhodes clamped down on defense and the Colonels couldn’t overcome two long scoring droughts at the end of the first half and the start of the second half. Rhodes won the game 72-58. Karsner led the Colonels in scoring with 19 points.
Sophomore guard Jake Tramutolo knocked down a three-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining as Colorado College opened its conference schedule with a 58-55 victory over Southwestern on Friday night. Tramutolo scored 12 of his career-high 14 points behind the arc and grabbed a career-high three steals. Senior forward Jeremiah Waters paced CC with team highs of 15 points and seven rebounds. Ryan Milne poured in a game-high 23 points as Colorado College overcame a 13-point first-half deficit to post a 56-51 victory over Trinity the following night. He made six of eight shots from behind the arc, including one with 55 seconds to play that put CC ahead for good. Milne iced the contest with a pair of free throws with two seconds to go and dished out a game-high six assists. The Tigers return to the road this week for non-conference games at Johnson & Wales on Tuesday and Wartburg on Saturday.
Hendrix split its first two SCAC games of the season over the weekend. On Friday, Trinity came to Conway and defeated Hendrix 68-60. Senior guard Ammon Martin paced Hendrix with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He also had three assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Senior center Nick Heathscott, playing in his first game after missing the first four with an injury, came off the bench to score 12 points and grab five rebounds. The Warriors picked up their first win of the 2011-12 campaign on Sunday, topping Southwestern 74-63. Hendrix shot 50 percent (8-of-16) from three-point range in the game and had a 40-31 rebound advantage against the Pirates. Martin tied his career-best with 21 points to go with six boards, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Riley scored nine points and went 9-of-9 from the free throw line. The Warriors are off until Dec. 17 when they host Colorado College.
Millsaps opened up conference play this past weekend in Jackson as they took on Centre and Sewanee. In the first game against Centre, the trio of Greg Ross, Josh Karsner, and Jeff Mullaney proved to be too much for the Majors as they combined to score 49 points in a 65-50 win for Centre. Senior Jeff Brown led Millsaps with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting while junior Nick Cortese, junior Taylor Meades, and freshman Sterling Thomas chipped in with nine points apiece. Two days later, Millsaps raced out to a 41-20 halftime lead and held off a late rally from Sewanee as they earned their first SCAC win of the season, 69-57. Millsaps improves to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the SCAC. The Majors return to action against Covenant on December 15.
Oglethorpe (3-4, 0-1 SCAC) slit a pair of games last week, beating Piedmont 76-62 before dropping a heartbreaking 63-62 decision to 19th-ranked Birmingham-Southern. Against Piedmont, the Stormy Petrels were led by Sam Purdy’s team-high 16 points. Also scoring in double-figures for OU was Branden Jovaag (12), Alec Pitts (12) and Andrew Steioff (11). Steioff nearly had a double-double as he added eight rebounds in the win. Oglethorpe shot over 50 percent (28 of 55) for the game. Against BSC, Oglethorpe held 53-42 lead with 12:36 to play but was outscore 21-9 down the stretch in the loss. BSC’s Larry Thomas hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Panthers the win. OU was led by Steioff’s game-high 24 points on 11 of 18 shooting. The Petrels return to action on December 5 when they host cross town rival Emory.
Rhodes got out to a fast start to the conference, opening with two home wins against rival Sewanee and conference favorite Centre. Friday, the Lynx fought off a spirited effort from the Tigers of Sewanee to open the game up in the second half. Sophomore guard Michael Gallagher sparked the Lynx off the bench with a game-high 19 points, shooting 6 for 6 from the three point line. Rhodes then cruised for the 77 – 62 victory. On Sunday, the Lynx hosted Centre and held serve against the defending conference champions. Rhodes again gained separation early in the second half, mainly by an energized defense effort, holding Centre to 33% shooting on the night. The Lynx gained a 17 point lead midway through the second half and would not allow Centre to get any closer than ten en route to the 72 – 58 victory. Junior Andrew Galow had a great weekend averaging 15.5 ppg., 5 rpg., 3 apg., and grabbed 3 steals. Rhodes moves to 2-0 in conference and improves their overall record to 5-2.
Sewanee returned to action with three road losses last week. First, Sewanee dropped an 81-71 affair at Covenant last Tuesday. The Tigers then lost a pair of SCAC games against Rhodes and Millsaps over the weekend. After starting the season 3-0, Sewanee has a 3-3 overall record. This week, the Tigers will look to get back on track as they host their only game, against Johnson University, Tuesday.
Southwestern remains in search of its first win of the season as they dropped their SCAC openers over the weekend. Free throws were the difference maker in Colorado as CC had 10 more attempts from the charity stripe as Southwestern fell 58-55. The game was tied 54-54 with just 11 seconds to go and a last second three pointer by the Tigers pushed them past SU. A 16-0 run in the second half on Sunday gave Hendrix the cushion they needed to pull out the 74-63 win. Logan Hurley led all scorers with 31 points but didn't have the support he needed to help Southwestern get their first win. The Pirates fall to 0-8 on the year and 0-2 in the SCAC. They have a much needed off weekend this week before returning to action at home on December 16th.
Trinity opened up its SCAC schedule with a road weekend split at Hendrix and Colorado College on Friday and Saturday nights. The Tigers opened conference play with a 68-60 win over Hendrix, leading by as many as 19 points in the game. On Saturday night, Trinity again led by double digits at one point, and were ahead or tied most of the game. Colorado College, though, hit a three-pointer with under a minute remaining to take a one-point lead, then hit 3-4 from the line in the final seconds to seal the win. Trinity will not play this week, but will return to action on December 16 and 17. At that time, the Tigers will make their home debut for the 2011-12 season, hosting the University of Dallas and Austin College in a pair of SCAC contests.
For the complete SCAC Men's Hoops Weekly for Week 3, click here.