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Cold closing stretch sinks LaGrange College

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

LaGrange College’s Kymberli Payno goes up to block a shot during the second half. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/01/web1_LC1.jpgLaGrange College’s Kymberli Payno goes up to block a shot during the second half. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LaGrange College’s Madison Barker applies some defensive pressure late in Monday’s game against Millsaps. LaGrange College lost 41-38. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/01/web1_LC3.jpgLaGrange College’s Madison Barker applies some defensive pressure late in Monday’s game against Millsaps. LaGrange College lost 41-38. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LAGRANGE – The defensive effort was as good as ever.

The LaGrange College women’s basketball team came into Monday’s home game against Millsaps having allowed less than 50 points per game.

Against Millsaps, LaGrange College was as stingy as usual on defense, giving up just 41 points.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, they had a hard time getting the ball to fall through the basket, and they ended up losing the non-conference game 41-38.

The Panthers had a four-point lead in the fourth quarter, but they were outscored 7-0 down the stretch.

The Panthers, who came into the game with a five-game winning streak, fell to 7-3, and they’ll look to bounce back on Saturday when they return to USA South play with a game at Maryville.

“This was a really tough and physical game tonight,” LaGrange College coach Lee Buchanan said. “I give a lot of credit to Millsaps, we had them down and they just kept battling. It’s disappointing to miss nine free throws and lose by three. We have to continue to keep working to fix our weaknesses.”

Lauren Johnson, Kelsey Mitchell and Kelsey Walthall each scored nine points to pace the Panthers, and Madison Barker had 11 rebounds.

The Panthers were ahead 38-34 with a little more than three minutes to play, but they found themslves in a three-point hole when they got the ball with 18 seconds to play.

The Panthers had their chances.

Three times in the closing moments they got a 3-point shot away, and if any of them had connected the game would have been tied.

None of those shot attempts fell, though, and it was Millsaps (6-6) coming away with the road win.

The Panthers only made 22 percent of their shot attempts in the game, and they were 3-of-16 on 3-point attempts.

From the free-throw line, the Panthers were 11-of-20.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports