BIRMINGHAM - Maggie Hartlage scored with 51 seconds to play to tie the game and after a Birmingham-Southern turnover, Mary Winstead hit a free throw with three seconds left to give visiting Centre College a 67-66 victory.
Chelsea Benham blocked a last-second shot by the home to guarantee the victory for the Colonels.
“We got down by as many as 13 points in the first half. They opened in a triangle-and-two and three us off our rhythm, but we cut the lead to six points and made plays down the stretch to win,” said Centre coach Wendie Austin-Robinson. “It was back and forth down the stretch, but our girls did a great job executing and finishing plays. I think today we figured it out a little bit. We developed a toughness on the road that you have to have.”
Centre held the home team to just four points — and one field goal — the final 4:56 to pull out the win.
The Colonels (4-9) were 23-for-53 from the field and 15-for-20 at the foul line. The home team was 22-for-59 from the field and 14-for-17 at the foul line. Birmingham-Southern outscored Centre 28-18 in the paint, but Centre won the rebounding battle 38-33 behind 13 boards from Paige Baechle.
“It was another great game for Paige. She had 26 points on 10-for-20 shooting and made all six free throws in 35 minutes,” Austin-Robinson said. “Bridgett Winstead had a great game with 11 points and I was really proud of Chelsea (10 points).
“But this was a total team effort. People off the bench played great minutes for us. Hartlage only had one field goal, but it was huge. Our point guards are figuring things out and I am hoping our team is coming together a little more and getting ready to take big strides forward.”
At Birmingham, Ala. (Bill Battle Coliseum)
CENTRE 67, BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN 66
CENTRE (4-9, 2-1 SAA): Paige Baechle 10-20 6-6 26, Bridget Winstead 3-5 2-2 11, Chelsea Benham 4-9 1-4 10, Jenna Mire 2-7 0-0 5, Mary Winstead 1-3 1-2 4, Maggie Hartlage 1-3 2-2 4, Hillary Moore 0-2 3-4 3, Alexis Guy 1-1 0-0 2, Mary Stough 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 23-53 15-20 67.
BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN (5-8, 1-2 SAA): Caroline King 5-13 5-6 17, Alex Adams 6-13 4-6 17, Kelsey Brown 4-8 0-0 11, Elizabeth Bromirski 3-8 3-3 11, Erin Moore 2-8 2-2 6, Sydney Darnall 2-8 0-0 4, Amber Cardwell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-59 14-17 66.
Halftime, Centre 37, Birmingham-Southern 36. 3-point goals—Centre 6-14 (Bridget Winstead 3-4, Mary Winstead 1-2, Chelsea Benham 1-2, Jenna Mire 1-3, Hillary Moore 0-2, Paige Baechle 0-1), Birmingham-Southern 8-22 (Kelsey Brown 3-6, Elizabeth Bromirski 2-3, Caroline King 2-6, Alex Adams 1-3, Sydney Darnall 0-2, Erin Moore 0-2). Fouled out—Centre-None, Birmingham-Southern-None. Rebounds—Centre 38 (Paige Baechle 13), Birmingham-Southern 33 (Erin Moore 9). Assists—Centre 11 (Mary Winstead 4), Birmingham-Southern 11 (Caroline King 3). Total fouls—Centre 13, Birmingham-Southern 16. Technical fouls—Centre-None, Birmingham-Southern-None.
Birmingham-Southern made 12 of 25 3-point shots to beat visiting Centre 73-69 Sunday.
“They were preseason 11th in the country and have three seniors who will probably combine to score 3,500 points,” Centre coach Greg Mason said. “Their point guard (Blaise White) was 4-for-6 from 3-point range and their wing (Larry Thomas) was 5-for-7 and had 29 points. It is tough to beat a team when they are that good offensively.
“We are still going through a lot of injuries. Bryon Ellis was a game time decision because of his back and he not only played, but he also scored 14 points and guarded a really good shooter. He played a great game.”
Centre (8-2) shot 54.2 percent (26-for-48) from the field. Ellis was 5-for-10 and Collin Lopez came off the bench to go 4-for-7 overall and add 12 points. He missed six weeks earlier due to injury. Mason praised the defensive play of Tyler Wesley, who had eight rebounds. Holden Hertzel also came off the bench to score eight points and grab six rebounds while providing what Mason called a “good low post presence.”
Centre had 13 turnovers to only nine for the winners and was outrebounded 29-26.
“I¿am not pleased with the end result, but we played a senior dominated team on the road with some guys not with us and to hang in says a lot about us,” Mason said. “Our ceiling is good. We just have to get some guys healthy and build some chemistry. If we do that, we can be a good team.”