Men's Basketball: Panthers race past Berry 98-73 to improve to 7-2

Photo by Corey Hammett
Photo by Corey Hammett

LaGrange raced past Berry 98-73 in a non-conference game Wednesday at Mariotti Gym. The Panthers are now 7-2 on the season, while the Vikings slipped to 4-4.

Senior Drew Vanderbrook scored a game and season-high 25 points for the Panthers. Vanderbrook was 7-for-11 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, while going a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line.

Travis Thompson was a perfect 4-for-4 shooting and finished with 13 points. Justyn Olson had 12, followed by Jamison McCray with 11 and Elijah Adedoyin had 10.

The Panthers shot 57.1 percent in the game, including a 63.0 percent in the first half. They held the Vikings to 32 percent in the game.

The two teams combined for 53 turnovers in the game. The Panthers committed a season-high 28 turnovers and have averaged over 20 per game in their last three outings.

"You know when you end up with 28 turnovers and win by 25 you know there is not much to say," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "That is something we have to work on tremendously. We talked before the game that before the Maryville game we were averaging 12 turnovers per game and went up there and turned it over 17 times and 17 times at Selma.

"One of our focus points tonight was going to not turn the ball over and we went out and turned it over 16 times in the first half. Coach is not happy."

Berry stayed close with the Panthers for most of the first half. LC turned a 28-25 lead with 6:47 left in the half into a 47-36 cushion at the break. Vanderbrook and Olson combined for 23 of the Panthers points.

LC continued to build on the lead in the second half. Leading 61-48, the Panthers put the game away with a 14-2 run. Vanderbrook finished his night with two 3s and a layup in the spurt. He fed Duncan Parker for a layup to make it 75-50 with 10:35 remaining.

"We shot the ball well to overcome the turnovers and that cures everything," Wallace said. "The effort was there and getting out of exams and coming ready to play. I think that was something we wanted to do and we wanted to get warmed up for our big trip down to Miami to play two quality teams down there."

The Panthers will play 18th-ranked Susquehanna and Hartwick at the HoopMIA D3 Holiday Shootout on Sunday and Monday.