MONTGOMERY, Ala. --- Huntingdon College's men's basketball team (10-11) picks up first win over in-state rival, Birmingham-Southern College (18-2), 73-70, since the Panthers made the transition to Division III competition.
“I'm proud of how hard our guys fought tonight and found a way to win,” said head coach Mike Pugh. “Our players believed in each other and made key plays at the end.”
Speaking of key plays, Hudson's three-pointer with 3 seconds left was only the Hawks third three-point conversion out of eleven attempts on the night. “This was a play we designed and Ephriam stepped up and took a great shot. He's really good at taking shots one-on-one, and it paid off tonight,” said Pugh on Hudson's game-winning shot.
The Hawks outshot the Panthers 50.9 percent (28-of-55), to 46.6 percent (27-of-58) in the battle between in-state rivals. Huntingdon held a 33-29 advantage on the glass in Wednesday night's win.
Senior Adrian Williams cashed in his 8th straight double-digit scoring performance with a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds. Four other Hawks registered double-digits including junior Jacob Moody with 12, followed by Hudson, senior Jack Montgomery and junior D'Awvalo Turnipseed each adding 10 points in the win.
Huntingdon's first lead came with 15:00 on the clock after senior James Daniels' layup gave the Hawks the 7-5 advantage. The Panthers regained its second lead, 16-14, after Jason Jonus sank a three-pointer with 10:43 left in the opening half.
After a 18-18 tie, Huntingdon was held scoreless for three minutes while the Panthers racked up 9 consecutive points, 27-18, with 5:40 remaining. The Hawks cut the margin to three points with 1:42 left in the half, but a Daniels' foul sent Panthers' Griffin Schamp to the line. Schamp connected on both free throws giving Birmingham-Southern the 34-29 halftime lead.
Huntingdon quickly scored 9 points opening the final period, and the Hawks went up 38-34 before the Panthers realized what hit them. “We made some adjustments on defense at the break, and I challenged our guys to play better on the boards in the second half,” said Pugh. Huntingdon grabbed five consecutive rebounds before Schamp recorded Birmingham-Southern's first rebound of the second half.
The Hawks went on an impressive 12-0 run leading the Panthers 50-36 with 12:26 remaining. During a four minute span the Panthers collected 20 straight points, while Huntingdon gave up a 12 point lead to trail by eight points with 6:24 left in regulation.
Huntingdon's offense woke up and scored six consecutive points trimming the Panthers margin down to two points, with 4:33 left on the clock. Adrian Williams converted a pair of free throws giving Huntingdon a 67-66 advantage with 1:07 left. The Panthers immediately regained the lead by Blaise White's jumper with 59 seconds on the scoreboard.
With 39 seconds remaining, Williams answered White's jumper with his own and was fouled on the play. The three point play gave Huntingdon the lead, 70-68. Birmingham-Southern's Zac Richard put in his layup with 23 seconds left in regulation to tie the contest.
Coach Pugh called a timeout to set up one final shot for Huntingdon. After the in-bound pass, Hudson got his one-on-one look and drained the game-winning three-pointer, 73-70, with three seconds left on the clock. The Panthers last second prayer wasn't answered as Hawk fans celebrated with coaches and players on the court after the final buzzer sounded.
Birmingham-Southern was led by Patrick Price and Zac Richards each with 10 points.
Huntingdon faces GSAC opponent, LaGrange College, on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 4 p.m. in Roland Arena. Live stats will be available at http://fs.huntingdon.edu/livestats/xlive.htm.