Sewanee uses dominant first half to defeat Birmingham-Southern

Cam Caldwell (C’19) goes up against Birmingham-Southern. Photo by Matt Hembree (C’20).

By Harry Davis
Staff Writer

On Friday, January 25, the Sewanee Men’s Basketball Tigers defeated the Birmingham-Southern Panthers 70-55.

The Tigers entered the game with a record of 14-4 on the season and returned home after a four-game road trip. Sewanee struggled on the trip with three losses to Berry, Oglethorpe, and Birmingham-Southern before they defeated Millsaps to conclude the trip. In the loss against the Panthers, 71-64, the Tigers started the game well and held a six-point lead into halftime. In the second half, the Panthers’ starters became hot and made free throws late to seal the game. Birmingham-Southern outscored Sewanee 46-34 in points in the paint and outscored Sewanee’s bench 15-6.

The game began as both teams exchanged baskets to make the score 13-13 with over 13 minutes left in the first half. The Tigers started a run and made two quick three-pointers by Cam Caldwell (C’19) and Michael Barry (C’20), Sewanee continued the run and the lead expanded to 16 with over seven minutes left in the half after another three-pointer by Sean McDonough (C’21). The Panthers took a timeout as they tried to regain some level of confidence to finish the half. Birmingham-Southern narrowed the lead to 10 points with a little more than three minutes left in the half before Sewanee made free throws late to make the halftime score 39-28 Tigers on top. A great first half by the Tigers helped by the Panthers poor shooting highlighted by a 35.3% field goal percentage and 20% three-point shooting percentage.

Sewanee started the second half with a jump shot by Caldwell and a three pointer by Hunter Buescher (C’19) which expanded the lead to 44-28 early in the second half. Both teams exchanged baskets until the Panthers began a run with over 10 minutes left in the half. Over the next six minutes Birmingham-Southern outscored Sewanee 10-2 and the Tiger’s lead dwindled to 60-48. The Panthers began to foul the Tigers to preserve any time on the clock but Buescher made four of four free throws and Caldwell hit a three pointer to all but end the game as the Tigers won 70-55.

Luke Smith (C’21) led the scoring for the Tigers with 17 points and eight assists. It was another great win for Sewanee as they had 14 assists to Birmingham-Southern’s 10, and Birmingham-Southern was plagued by shooting problem all night and ended with a 16.1% three point percentage to Sewanee’s 34.6%.

The Tigers will return to action on Sunday, January 27, at home against Millsaps before a two game road trip against Hendrix and Rhodes.