Rhodes hands Colonels 83-74 loss on senior day
Centre mounted a late comeback attempt but ultimately fell short, as the Colonels closed the regular season with an 83-74 loss to Rhodes in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball action Sunday in Danville, Ky.
On a day in which seniors James Melloan (Louisville, Ky.), Jeff Mullaney (Louisville, Ky.) and Greg Ross (Cincinnati, Ohio) were honored in a ceremony before their final regular season home game, Mullaney led the Colonels with 17 points while Ross followed with 16 and a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Donovan Whiteside (Knoxville, Tenn.) joined the two in double figures with 13 points.
The Colonels made a surge when they began to press late in the second half, but they ran out of time to erase what had been a 21-point deficit.
Centre made its move after trailing 67-46 with less than five minutes to play. As the Colonels stepped up the defensive pressure, they forced six Rhodes turnovers in a three minute stretch and outscored the Lynx 20-7 during that span.
Whiteside helped spark the comeback by making four steals during the run and scoring 10 of his points in a span of just over two minutes. A Ross layup at the 1:34 mark cut the margin to 74-66, but it was as close as Centre would get as Rhodes was able to put the game away at the free throw line in the final minute.
The Colonels never led in the game and only tied it once, at 24-24. Rhodes took a 34-28 lead to halftime and gradually increased it with stellar shooting from 3-point range, where the Lynx shot 54 percent (13-of-24) on the afternoon. Rhodes made seven of the first nine 3-pointers it shot in the second half, eventually building the lead to as many as 21 points when a Michael Gallagher three capped a stretch in which the Lynx hit from outside on three straight possessions.
John Dunavant led all scorers with 23 points on 6-of-6 shooting from outside while teammate Andrew Galow added 16 points and 13 rebounds. Rhodes shot 53 percent (27-of-51) from the field while holding Centre to 39 percent (24-of-62) and held a 38-27 rebounding advantage. Centre forced 16 turnovers while committing just eight.
Centre falls to 16-8 overall and 10-6 in SCAC play while Rhodes moves to 17-8 overall with a 12-4 record in the conference. The Colonels finish in third place in the East Division and will open SCAC Tournament play against Austin at 4 p.m. Friday at Birmingham Southern.