The Hendrix College Warriors split a doubleheader against the Birmingham-Southern College Panthers on Sunday at Grove Gymnasium.
What looked like an early blowout between the Warrior women and the Birmingham-Southern College Panthers turned into a 54-53 nail-biting loss.
After clawing back within one from a large early deficit, the Warriors had a chance to win when Panther senior Camillia Carter threw the ball away on the inbounds pass.
Taking the ball out near the BSC bench, Hendrix got the ball in with 2.7 seconds left, but a turnover by junior Leah Smith ended the game.
The Warriors struggled early, making just two of 14 shots in the first half, resulting in a 29-15 deficit in the first half.
Shooting wasn’t the only thing that hurt the Warriors early. Hendrix turned the ball over nine times to the Panthers’ three in the first quarter.
BSC scored seven points off the first quarter turnovers.
Coach Drew Gaeng said the BSC came prepared unlike Hendrix.
“We were not executing, which led to a lot of bad shots,” he said. “They’re a good defensive team and do a lot of things well to force us into some stuff, but it was kind of on us because we didn’t do what we were supposed to do.”
The second half was much different for Hendrix, with the Warriors outscoring the Panthers, 38-25.
“The girls started competing harder,” Gaeng said. “We made a few adjustments, but that’s the way it’s gone for this team right now. We’re up and down and pretty streaky. We had too long of a bad streak and too short of a good streak.”
Hendrix was backed in the second half by a trio of 3-pointers by Smith and a pair of 3s from senior Hailey Bode.
“They made some shots and competed,” Gaeng said. “I was proud of them for battling back in the ballgame. We certainly could’ve rolled over. It still hurts as tight as it was. A loss is a loss and they all hurt the same.”
Smith scored 13 while Bode scored 12. Junior Sara Dyslin led all scorers with 18 points and nine rebounds.
BSC’s senior Jameice Holmes led the Panthers with 17 points while Carter finished with 14.
Hendrix 79, Birmingham-Southern 53
The men’s game was much more favorable for the Warrior men.
Hendrix began quickly from the tipoff with senior Travis Garrett hitting a 3-pointer on the Warriors’ second possession.
Hendrix never surrendered the lead from that point.
The Warriors came out firing on all cylinders, leading the Panthers 20-9 at the 11:23 mark in the first half.
Hendrix built the lead without senior center Gearen Littlefield, who had to leave in the opening minutes of the game because of an eye injury that drew blood.
Just after halftime, BSC trimmed the deficit down to eight but defensive stands by the Warriors caused the lead to build back up to 28 points in the final minute of the game.
Hendrix shot 52.4 percent from behind the 3-point line during the game, making 11 of 21 shots while the Panthers made just 2 of 17.
Senior Warrior Hank Aldous scored a game-high 18 points. Sophomore Preston Smith, Littlefield and Garrett all finished with double figures with Smith scoring 16, Littlefield with 11 and Garrett with 10.
BSC was led by senior Ian Thom’s 16 points with sophomore Chris Graham following with 10.
Both Warriors teams travel to Sewanee, Tennessee, on Friday to face the Tigers.