Southern Shocks Petrels at Buzzer

Southern Shocks Petrels at Buzzer

The men's basketball team lost in heartbreaking fashion to the No. 19 ranked team in the nation on Saturday evening when Birmingham-Southern's Larry Thomas hit a three-pointer as time expired to lift the Panthers to a 63-62 win on Pinholster Court. The Petrels came up empty on two one-and-one opportunities at the free throw line in the final 30 seconds to open the door for Southern's buzzer-beating heroics.

Birmingham entered the contest 5-0 on the season and ranked No. 19 overall by They had won their last 4 contests by an average of 30 points before Oglethorpe gave them everything they had. The back-breaking three-ball at the buzzer by Thomas was his eighth of the day and it gave Birmingham their first lead of the game since there was 10:36 to play in the first half.

The Petrels executed their game plan to precision but were undone by the late missed free throws and the long-distance shooting heroics of Thomas, just a freshman out of Langston Hughes High School in Atlanta. Oglethorpe led 53-42 with 12:36 to play but got outscored 21-9 down the stretch on their way to the gut-wrenching loss.

Andrew Steioff turned in one of the most spirited performances of his career in pouring in a team-high 24 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field. He also grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds and swatted 4 Panther shot attempts. Junior Alec Pitts added 15 points including some difficult three-point conversions along the way. The Petrels shot 47.1% from the field and outrebounded the Panthers 31-26 but could not overcome the two missed chances at the free throw line late.

Pitts had a chance to extend the lead from 62-60 with 31 ticks left but his shot from the charity stripe came off long and the Panthers earned a shot to tie it. Sam Purdy stepped in to make a steal on the ensuing possession and got fouled with 14 seconds left. Purdy's one-and-one free throw attempt also hit the back iron and set up the wild finish. With players scrambling to cover their men, the Panthers Zac Richards found Thomas open with 2 seconds left and Thomas rose and drilled the game-winner from 23 feet on the right wing as the final horn sounded.

The Petrels are now 3-4 on the season and will have little chance to lick their wounds before facing the nations No. 10 ranked team, Emory University, on Pinholster Court this Monday at 7:00 p.m.