BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team held off a late-game run by Sewanee to win the 2016 Southern Athletic Association Championship, 68-50, Sunday afternoon in Bill Battle Coliseum.
The Panthers moved to 22-6 and have won 18 straight games. BSC will receive the SAA's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, which begins on Thursday, March 3. Sewanee fell to 20-8.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After an early 5-5 tie, BSC put together a 21-4 run to pull up 26-9 by the 7:27 mark of the first half.
- Sewanee scored two baskets after that, which would be their last of the half, with the Panthers finishing on a 6-0 run to go up 34-15 at halftime.
- BSC held a comfortable lead for much of the second half, and led 55-41 with 6:32 left to play before the Tigers hit two three-pointers to cut it to eight, 55-47, with 4:06 on the clock.
- The Panthers scored five points to push the lead to 13 before Sewanee's Hunter Buescher hit a three at the 2:11 mark in what would be the Tigers' final basket of the game.
- BSC finished with eight straight points for a final of 68-50.
- Senior Ross Welch led the Panthers with 15 points, while senior Alex Avery posted his 17th double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
- Sophomore Harrison Deneka also added 10 points, and junior Ian Thom led with three assists.
- Avery was named Tournament MVP, and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by junior Evan Lewis.
- BSC will find out its fate tomorrow as the NCAA selection show will be broadcast at 11:30 a.m. CST on NCAA.com.