Men's Basketball Recap (Week 11) - Around the SCAC

SUWANEE, Ga. - With just two weeks left in the regular season, four of the eight bids to the 2012 SCAC Men's Basketball tournament have been earned. In the East, Birmingham-Southern and Rhodes have earned postseason bids while Austin College and Trinity have earned trips to Birmingham out of the West.

AROUND THE SCAC

Austin College extended its winning streak to three games with two SCAC wins over Colorado College (67-61) and Hendrix (60-58). With the wins the Kangaroos (13-9 overall, 9-4 SCAC) have earned a berth in the 2012 SCAC Basketball Tournament in Birmingham at the end of the month. Against Colorado College, the ‘Roos were led by Ransom Okpala’s 19 points and Josh Saunders’ nine rebounds. Against Hendrix, Austin College survived a desperation three-point shot at the buzzer to stave off the upset minded Warriors. The ‘Roos were led by Antoine Thompson’s 16 points and 12 rebounds. Austin College returns to action Saturday hosting Dallas.

No. 10 Birmingham-Southern kept rolling with two more wins this week, and have now won their last 13 straight games. On Friday against Millsaps, junior Zac Richards led with 15 points and 6-of-7 shooting and 9 rebounds, followed by junior Kevin Kegarise with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting and junior Blaise White with 12 points. On Sunday against Rhodes, Kegarise led all players with 19 points, and Richards and senior Jasen Jonus added 14 points each. Richards also led with seven rebounds, and White led with four assists and four steals. BSC returns home this weekend for the first time since Jan. 21, facing Centre on Friday and Sewanee on Sunday.

Centre had a week to rest from their trip to Texas the previous week. The Colonels hosted Sewanee on Saturday in their only game of the week. Senior James Melloan went on a personal 8-0 run to close the half as Centre extended their lead to 31-22 going into the locker room. After Sewanee cut the lead to two at the 13:00 mark, sophomores Donovan Whiteside and Collin Lopez took over the game. Whiteside and Lopez either scored or assisted on the next 17 Centre points as the lead jumped back to 11 points, and Sewanee would get no closer. The Colonels won the game by a score of 68-53. Lopez led all scorers with 16 points while Whiteside finished with 13 and five assists. Greg Ross scored 11 points and pulled down a game high eight rebounds. Centre will play at Birmingham-Southern and Oglethorpe this week.

Sophomore guard Ryan Milne poured in a career-high 32, but Colorado College dropped a 67-61 decision to Austin College on Friday night. The Tigers led 52-44 after sophomore guard Jake Tramutolo sank a pair of free throws with 9:51 remaining, but CC went cold from the floor and managed just 10 points the rest of the way. After taking its largest lead of the game, Colorado College missed six consecutive shots and committed a pair of turnovers during the next six minutes. Colorado College used a dominating performance on the glass and 24 points from Milne to earn a 78-55 victory over Dallas on Sunday. Ian Rewoldt and freshman forward Chris Lesnansky grabbed 14 rebounds apiece. Rewoldt completed his third double-double of the season with 13 points, while Lesnansky's rebound total was a season best. Milne led the Tigers with 24 points, 15 of which came in the second half to keep UD from mounting any kind of a sustained comeback. The Tigers travel to Southwestern and Trinity on Friday and Sunday, respectively, for their final road games of the regular season.

Dallas
(7-15, 5-8 SCAC) went 1-1 on the week in a pair of SCAC road contests. Dallas headed to Conway, Ark., for a Friday night matchup with Hendrix College. The Crusaders turned it on in the second half, owning the period, 46-34 en route to a 74-64 victory. Dallas produced a clip of 58.6 percent (17-of-29) from the field in the second half, and a mark of 46 percent (29-of-63) on the game. Sophomore guard Joe Stephens put home a game-high 24 points for the Crusaders. On Sunday afternoon Colorado College was dominant from the start in this one, possessing a 34-19 lead at the break. Colorado College’s offensive prowess continued into the second-half where Dallas was outscored, 44-36. The game ended with a 78-55 score in favor of the Tigers. In the loss, Dallas’ Tanner Bruffey – a junior forward -- amassed a team-high 17 points.

Hendrix
went 0-2 in their final home SCAC games of the season. On Friday, Dallas topped Hendrix 74-65, and Austin College pulled out a 60-58 victory on Sunday. Against the Crusaders, senior center Nick Heathscott scored 22 points and a grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Senior guard Ammon Martin had 16 points, five boards and five assists and senior forward Josh Graham scored a career-high 10 points. Sophomore forward Colton Primm came up with 13 rebounds. Against the Roos, Primm’s buzzer beating three-point attempt from just across half court to win the game rimmed out, as Austin came away with the two-point win. Primm led Hendrix with 15 points and had eight boards. Senior guard Chris Goodman scored 12 points and dished out a career-high five assists. The Warriors take to the road this weekend, playing at Trinity on Friday and Southwestern on Saturday.

Millsaps
dropped two more games this weekend as they fell to No. 11 Birmingham-Southern and Oglethorpe at home. Against one of the nation's best, the Majors led BSC 37-34 with 11:46 remaining. However, the Panthers battled back and hit some huge shots to avoid the upset-minded Majors and escape Jackson with a 64-52 victory on Friday night. Taylor Meades led the way with 11 points despite struggling from the field. Millsaps got off to a hot start shooting in their game against Oglethorpe, but cooled off in the later period as the Stormy Petrels shot 50% to pull away from Millsaps, 70-51. Nick Cortese had 12 points. With the loss, the Majors drop to 8-13 (3-10 SCAC). They return to action on Saturday as they take on Rhodes at 5 p.m.

Oglethorpe
went 1-1 against SCAC competition this week as the Stormy Petrels traveled to Rhodes (L, 65-62) and Millsaps (W, 70-51). Against Rhodes, Oglethorpe was led by Alec Pitts who scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds. Andrew Steioff added 10 rebounds in the tightly contested game with the Lynx. Against Millsaps, the Stormy Petrels were led by Pitts’ 15 points. Pitts was one of four Petrels scoring in double-figures. OU now stands at 10-12 and 5-8 in SCAC play, just a half game behind Sewanee for the final SCAC tournament berth.

Rhodes split the weekend series against East foes Oglethorpe and Birmingham-Southern. Friday, the Lynx played a back and forth second half against Oglethorpe, but a game-changing three point field goal by sophomore Johnny Dunavant with four seconds remaining sent the Lynx faithful home happy, 65-62. Sunday found the Lynx in another battle. Rhodes and BSC went back in forth in the second half each grabbing the lead multiple times but it turned out that with 2:05 remaining a three pointer by the Panthers as the shot clock expired put the Lynx down four points – never to regain the lead. Rhodes fell to #11 Birmingham-Southern 76-66. Junior Theo Hartwell sparked the Lynx on Sunday with career highs with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Andrew Galow finished the weekend averaging 15.5 points and 4.5 assists. Rhodes moves to 14-8 on the season and 9-4 in the SCAC, a half game better than Centre for the #2 seed in the East.

Sewanee went 1-1 on the week, beating LaGrange in a midweek non-conference game 77-64 before dropping its lone SCAC game to Centre, 68-53. Against LaGrange, the Tigers were led by Valentino Bryant’s team-high 16 points and team-high seven rebounds. Against Centre, Sewanee was once again paced by Bryant as he put up team-highs of 16 points and seven rebounds for the second straight game. The Tigers travel to Oglethorpe and Birmingham-Southern on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

Southwestern continues to fall just short in games as they dropped two to Trinity this week, losing by single digits in both contests. Wednesday night SU held Trinity's starters to just 21 combined points for the game, but TU got a ton of help off the bench to defeat Southwestern 70-61. The Pirates trailed most of the game on Saturday, but fought until the final horn, scoring 15 points in the final five minutes including two threes in the final 13 seconds. Trinity went 8-8 from three free throw line in the final minute to keep Southwestern from the comeback win, 60-54. With the losses SU falls to 1-20 on the season and 1-11 in the SCAC. They host Colorado College and Hendrix in home action this weekend.

Trinity
won both of its SCAC games this past week, defeating Southwestern at home on Wednesday, then winning a Saturday afternoon road game against the Pirates. The two victories clinch a spot in the SCAC Tournament for the Tigers, with four regular season game remaining on the schedule. True to form for the recent history for these two teams, both games were decided by less than 10 points, with Trinity winning 70-61 and 60-54. There have been just 14 of 48 meetings since 1984-85 that have not been decided by single digits between Southwestern and Trinity. In Wednesday’s game, Joe Shotland hit six three-pointers to lead the team with a career-high 19 points.  Late in the second half, Shotland scored 13 straight Tiger points to help lead the team to victory. On Saturday, Zach Lambert posted his first career double-double, leading Trinity with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Trinity currently trails Austin College by a half-game in the SCAC West Division standings. The Tigers will host Hendrix and Colorado College this weekend, playing in their final home games of the regular season. Trinity defeated Hendrix 68-60 on the road earlier this year, but lost a 51-56 game at Colorado College.

For the complete SCAC Men's Hoops Weekly for Week 11, click here.