The Centre College men and women lost to Rhodes in their final regular-season games Sunday at Alumni Gymnasium.
Rhodes rallied to defeat the Centre women 58-56, and the Centre men attempted their own rally but came up short in an 83-74 loss.
Both teams begin play in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournaments Friday in Birmingham, Ala.
Rhodes 58, Centre 56 — Centre (21-3, 14-2 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) held a 16-point lead early in the second half, then went cold and saw Rhodes (17-7, 10-5) rally behind furious second-half shooting.
The Colonels, who had already clinched their first SCAC regular-season championship since 2001, hit just seven of 24 shots from the field in the second half, while the Lynx went 15 for 29.
In the final home game for its eight seniors, Centre led 47-40 with 9 minutes, 3 seconds remaining and 53-50 with 4:21 left, then went scoreless for four minutes while Rhodes went in front.
“Rhodes shot extremely well in the second half, and we shoot poorly,” Centre coach Wendie Austin-Robinson said. “I think we got a little tired in the second half and really didn’t find that toughness to push through like we had been doing in the past few games.”
The Colonels’ only points in the final 4:20 came at the free-throw line — all in the last 20 seconds. They went 0 for 3 from the field with three turnovers.
“We had opportunities to win; the ball just wouldn’t go our way,” Austin-Robinson said.
Rhodes took a 54-53 lead with 2:58 to play on a layup by Sharwill Bell and went up 57-53 on Bell’s jumper with 39 seconds left.
Maggie Prewitt hit two free throws for Centre at :20, and the Colonels had to foul three times before Rhodes reached the bonus. Bell hit one free throw with 3 seconds left to make it 58-55, and Prewitt was fouled with 1 second left before she could get off a 3-point shot.
She made the first free throw and missed the second intentionally, and Centre’s Lauren Huter was pulled down by Rhodes’ Mary Barber during the scramble for the rebound. The ball was never touched, so 1 second still remained on the clock.
However, Rhodes players argued that Benham, not Huter, was fouled, and Benham was sent to the line. Her first free throw bounced off the rim and she then missed the second intentionally, but the Colonels could not come up with the rebound.
Huter led Centre with 22 points and 12 rebounds, going 10 for 14 at the free-throw line. Prewitt had 21 points, seven rebounds and three steals, but no other Colonel had more than four points.
Centre scored seven straight points, including five by Prewitt, to take a 29-16 lead with 5:40 left in the first half. The Colonels went 11 for 23 from the field in the first half, while Rhodes was 6 for 29.
Benham opened the second half with a 3-pointer and Huter made one of two free throws to give the Colonels their largest lead at 37-21 with 18:43 remaining.
The Colonels went just 1 for 6 from 3-point range and 8 for 16 at the free-throw line in the second half. They shot 38 percent from the field, while Rhodes shot 36 percent.
Lauren Avant led Rhodes with 19 points.