Short-handed Panthers prevail

Published 10:15 pm Monday, January 15, 2018

By Kevin Eckleberry

With leading scorer Alex Bonner unable to go because of an injury, the LaGrange College Panthers needed someone to step up and help fill that void.

Lincoln Anderson, a freshman from LaGrange Academy, and Julian Cameron did their part, combining for 31 points off the bench to help LaGrange College outlast William Peace 76-73 in a USA South home game on Saturday.

Cameron was 6-of-8 from the field while scoring a team-best 17 points, and Anderson had 14 points while also pulling down seven rebounds.

Anderson also had two assists and two blocks to go along with a steal.

Jamison McCray led the Panthers with 16 points, and Jack McCormack provided a spark off the bench with 10 points in 15 minutes.

LaGrange College (7-6 overall) trailed 37-30 at the half, but it outscored William Peace 46-36 in the second half to improve to 3-3 in the conference.

“Lincoln Anderson played an incredible game as well as the other guys,” LaGrange College head coach Kendal Wallace said. “We had big rebounds by Travis Thompson in the end and sometimes we don’t play very smart but luckily we were able to come out on top. It’s a great day for the Panthers and I’m very happy to get the win. Everybody we face plays us like it’s the national championship game and our young guys haven’t figured that out.”

The Panthers trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half, but they recovered and were within seven at the break.

Wallace said slow starts have been commonplace this season.

“We’ve talked all year about coming out of the gate and play well early in the game and we just haven’t been able to accomplish that,” Wallace said. “Teams have come out and punched us in the mouth all year long and again they did it again today.”

McCray got hot at the start of the second half, scoring seven early points, and his 3-pointer gave the Panthers a 40-38 lead.

After falling behind by 10 points, William Peace made a late run and got within three, but a 3-pointer by Cameron in the closing moments helped LaGrange College hang on to the lead.

LaGrange College will be in North Carolina this weekend for a pair of USA South games.

LaGrange College plays Greensboro on Saturday and Methodist on Sunday.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Riley Chlupacek scored 17 points, but that wasn’t enough to keep the LaGrange College Panthers from falling to visiting Covenant 56-49 on Saturday.

The Panthers (6-8 overall) fell to 1-5 in the USA South.

The Panthers had a two-point lead at the half, but they trailed by four points heading to the fourth quarter.

After falling behind by 11 in the fourth quarter, the Panthers got within three on a Chlupacek 3-pointer with 2:38 remaining, but they didn’t score again.

LaGrange College will be at Wesleyan on Wednesday for a USA South game.