12 Conference Titles | Seven NCAA Tournament Appearances | Five All-Americans | Two Final Fours

Rice, defense shine in Colonels’ 63-39 win over BSC

Rice, defense shine in Colonels’ 63-39 win over BSC

DANVILLE, Ky. – Behind a big second quarter effort, the Centre women's basketball team cruised past Birmingham Southern Friday evening, 63-39, in Southern Athletic Association (SAA) action inside Alumni Gymnasium.

The Colonels – who trailed 11-9 after one quarter – poured in 26 points in the second period, sparking their eighth win in a row while moving to a sterling 11-1 overall and 2-0 in-conference.

Birmingham Southern fell to 7-6 overall and 1-1 in the SAA with the loss. The two-time defending SAA regular season champs also failed to defeat Centre for the first time since 2015.

Eight turnovers hindered the Colonels in the opening quarter, as the visiting Panthers were able to capitalize and take an early lead against their hosts.

The Colonels hit their offensive stride in the second quarter – boosted by strong team defense and hot shooting from junior Madison Rice (Knoxville, Tenn.).

The junior forward drained a pair of 3-pointers to give Centre its first lead of the game shortly after the period began, and before long the Colonels held a double-digit advantage over the Panthers.

Centre wound up outscoring BSC 26-11 in the turnover-free quarter, carrying a 35-22 lead into the halftime break. Rice had 14 points in the second quarter alone, going a perfect 4-for-4 from long range.

After holding serve in the third quarter, Centre put BSC away with a dominant effort in the fourth period. The Colonels held the Panthers to just 2 of 9 shooting overall while forcing six turnovers, finishing with a 17-7 advantage on the scoreboard.

Centre's team defense once again once again stole the show, as BSC shot under 30 percent (14-48) overall as a team while coughing the ball up 20 times. The Panthers' 39 points tied their season low, and marked the third time a Colonel opponent failed to reach 40.

Sophomore Kat Wilson (Suwanee, Ga.) followed Rice's game-high 16 points with a dozen of her own, and also racked up four of Centre's 12 steals.

Classmate Mikayla Fee (Seymour, Ind.) had 10 points and seven rebounds, and junior Abigail Stewart (LaGrange, Ky.) led the team with eight rebounds.

Centre overwhelmed BSC on the glass, 43-31, and finished with 21 second-chance points to the Panthers' three. The Colonels had only four turnovers in the second, third and fourth quarters combined.

The Colonels are back in action Sunday, hosting Millsaps in Alumni Gym at 1 p.m. ET.