BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Feb. 27, 2016) – For the first time since 2005, the Sewanee men's basketball team will play for a conference postseason championship Sunday. Winning its 20th game on Saturday, the Tigers topped rival Centre 68-62 inside Bill Battle Coliseum to advance to the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) title game against host and No. 1 seed Birmingham-Southern.
Sewanee, who is 20-7 overall, reached the 20-win mark for the first time since the 1997-98 season. The No. 2 seeded Tigers will play BSC at 3:00 p.m., Sunday.
All season, Sewanee has been a team that has had a balanced offense and a stout defense. Against Centre, the Tigers continued that trend in the semifinals. Sewanee made 46.2 percent of its attempts, which included 42.9 percent of its three-point shots.
On defense, The Tigers limited Centre to a 38.0 field-goal percentage and forced 10 turnovers. Centre's largest lead of the night was only by a single point with 18:14 left to play in the first half.
After Centre opened with a 6-5 advantage, Sewanee answered back. The Tigers opened a 9-2 run over the next three minutes. Then with 11:42 left in the opening half, a jumper by Jacob McCullough sparked a 12-6 run by the purple and gold.
Eventually, Sewanee led by six, 35-29, at halftime.
In the final 20 minutes, Sewanee never trailed. The Tigers built their largest advantage 12, 57-45, when freshman Cody Jones made a three with 4:27 to play.
From there, Centre pulled to within single digits with 2:16 left after Jarod Griffin hit a three. The Colonels pulled to within four, 64-60, after scoring seven of eight points in less than 30 seconds with under a minute to play.
After a Sewanee timeout, senior Keshonn Carter was fouled. Carter then hit both free throws to push Sewanee's lead back to six, 66-60. Eventually, Jones added two more free throws before Tucker Sine closed the game with a pair for Centre with 10 seconds left.
All-SAA First-Team selection Blake Scinta led all players for Centre with 19 points.