By Caitlin McCarthy
The Sewanee men’s basketball team celebrated a belated Valentine’s Day by road-tripping down to Birmingham-Southern College to take on the BS Panthers. The Tigers were ready to roar as they stepped onto the court of the Bill Battle Coliseum. Despite this “coliseum” title the Tigers were unfazed by the fairly typical basketball gymnasium, ready instead to give the Panthers something to cry about following the international day of love.
But the Panthers were not going to lose, especially on their home turf. A mere twelve seconds into the game, BS had already put two points up on the scoreboard. With another layup less than thirty seconds later, the Tigers began to grow nervous. This match was clearly going to be a close one, and the two teams were matched up well.
However, with 17:21 still left in the first half, the Tigers had already fallen behind to BS, with a score of 11-2. Sewanee Head Coach Bubba Smith and Assistant Coach Bradley Pierson called a timeout, pumped up the Tigers, and sent them back onto the court where they proceeded to make a comeback. Less than ten minutes later the Tigers had tied the game when guard-forward Marcellus Caldwell (C’15) made a layup, bringing the score to an even 25-25.At halftime, the Tigers were becoming increasingly uneasy. Despite successfully making 48.1% of their attempted shots, they had trailed behind – with the exception of the brief tie – BS throughout the entirety of the first half. But Tigers never give up, especially to our heathen neighbors.
Guard Jorden Williams (C’17) made the first Tiger shot of the second half, with a perfect free throw. He followed this a minute and a half later with an on-point jump shot. With 13:06 left on the clock, Caldwell then did what he does best and scored a three-pointer, and soon after with double success in the free throw lane. As the clock showed a mere ten minutes left in the game, forward Keshonn Carter (C’16) made a jump shot, putting a stop to the widening gap between BS and Sewanee, which was then 49-42.With 45 seconds left in the game, the future was looking bleak for our beloved Tigers. Carter made a layup, the last score of the game, and BS went on to win 65-55. While a collective sadness befell the team, individuals Caldwell, Carter, forward Brody Stone (C’17), and guard Clay Born (C’17) all had successful games. Caldwell led the Tigers with 15 total points and seven rebounds. Carter followed closely behind, finishing with 14 points. Along with Caldwell, Stone and Born were named game leaders for their impressive rebounds and assists, respectively.
Caldwell said of the game, “Birmingham-Southern is a good team. We lacked the necessary defensive focus and toughness to come out of the game with a win. We just have to put it behind us, practice hard this week, and be ready for a new challenge.”
The Sewanee Tigers faced Berry College on February 22 for their last game before the final SAA tournament. We wish the Tigers all the best as they make Sewanee proud! YSR!