LaGrange College falls to Berea

Published 10:27 pm Friday, January 12, 2024

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LaGrange College stood no chance against Barea on Friday as the Panthers fell behind early and could not keep up with the Bears, losing the conference matchup 85-67. 

The teams traded leads over the first 10 minutes of the game but after the Panthers took a 12-11 on a Shaun Nichols 3-pointer, the Panthers seemed to have some early momentum. 

Unfortunately, it was not to be as Andrew Jones answered with a 3-pointer to give the Bears the lead back and they would not surrender it for the rest of the game. It was a quick 7-1 run for the Bears from there and they never looked back.

LaGrange College fought to stay in the game, but a 7-0 run from the Bears over the final 90 seconds of the first half gave Barea a 35-26 lead at the break. 

A 9-0 run from the Bears on the other side of the halftime break all but doomed the Panthers as the deficit ballooned up to 18 points with 18 minutes left in the game. 

The Panthers could never get out of the hole despite cutting the Bears’ lead down to just four points (51-47) with 9:25 after a pair of free throws from freshman Samuel Moss. 

Cam Lyons did his best to keep the Panthers in the game, leading the team in scoring with 22 points while chipping in five rebounds and three assists. 

Trenton Dillard came off the bench and offered a spark for the offense, scoring all 12 of his points in just eight minutes played in the second half. Dillard was one of the chief reasons that the Panthers clawed back into the game before collapsing late. 

LaGrange College’s defense struggled to keep up with the Bears’ offense all night as they connected on 56.4% of their shots. The Panthers had a difficult time staying in front of Trey Minster and Demetris Phillips, who scored 22 and 20 points, respectively. 

Missed free throws were huge for LaGrange College as the team made just 17 of 30 attempts from the charity stripe. 

LaGrange College (10-7) has alternated wins and losses since starting conference play on Jan. 2 and is now 2-2. The Panthers will host Maryville on Saturday for another critical conference matchup.