Hendrix College senior Christina Byler was connected on five of six 3-point attempts on the way to 18 points to lead the Warriors with to a 71-65 win over Birmingham Southern College in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball Sunday afternoon at Grove Gymnasium.
Hendrix (8-9, 5-4 SCAC), which moved into a four-way tie for the lead in the Western Division, outlasted Birmingham-Southern (12-6, 7-2 SCAC) and grabbed the final lead change with 16:55 left in regulation. The first 23 minutes of action featured eight lead changes and five ties.
After a 31-31 tie at halftime, The Panthers knocked down a pair of baskets on their first two possessions out of the locker room to jump out to a 35-31 lead after just 50 seconds. Hendrix responded and earned a lead it would not relinquish with an 18-3 run over the next three minutes.
The Warriors led by at least five points over the next nine minutes until the Panthers narrowed their deficit to 60-58 with five minutes left. Five straight points from Byler gave the Warriors the cushion they needed. Hendrix went 6-of-10 from the foul line in the last three minutes of action.
Hendrix had four players in double-figures as junior Samantha Devlin scored 13 points, firstyear Jamie Tate added 12 points, along with junior Katy Ashley-Pauley’s 12. Tate paced Hendrix with seven rebounds, while Ashley-Pauley of Conway added a season-high eight assists. Devlin also tallied five assists.
Birminham Southern shot 65.9 percent from the field went 21-of-32 from the foul line on the way to an 85-63 victory over the Warriors.
The Panthers (14-2, 8-1) took a 26-11 lead in fewer than 10 minutes with a 22-6 run, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from sophomore Kevin Kegarise. Senior Mark Messenger capped off the run with a breakaway dunk, giving the Panthers a 26-11 lead with 11:20 left in the first half. Birmingham-Southern led by at least 10 points the rest of the half and eventually owned a 50-29 advantage at the break.
The Panthers continued to dominate down low in the second half and would not let their lead slip under 12 points for the remainder of the game. Kegarise led the Panthers with 14 points on 3-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. Sophomore Blaise White added 11 points and a game-high seven assists, while junior Jasen Jonus scored 12 points.
Hendrix (5-12, 1-8 SCAC) was led by junior Chris Goodman with 15 points on four-of-five shooting from distance. Junior Ammon Martin added 14 points and four assists while junior Nick Heathscott tallied 11 points. Hendrix shot 53.8 percent as a team, but was just 14-of-26 (53.8 percent) from the foul line.
The Warriors will travel Sewanee-The University of the South on Friday, then take on Oglethorpe University on Sunday.