Men's Basketball: Panthers throttle Averett 92-77 to pick up first USA South win

Photo by Corey Hammett
Photo by Corey Hammett

LaGrange throttled Averett 92-77 to pick up its first USA South win of the season Saturday in Mariotti Gym. The Panthers (8-7, 1-3 USA South) snapped a five-game losing skid.

Justyn Olson's game-high 22 points led five Panthers in double figures. Elijah Adedoyin followed with 18 points, Travis Thompson 13, Drew Vanderbrook 11, and Jamison McCray 10.

The difference in the game was the Panthers forcing 26 turnovers that led to 34 points. Averett (3-11, 1-2 USA South) came into the game averaging only 14 turnovers per game.

"We changed our defense a little bit and wanted to get more up tempo because we had been lethargic in our half court defense," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "We wanted to spread our defense and lengthen it to full 94 feet of the court and I think we did that tonight."

As a team the Panthers dished out 15 assists on 33 baskets in the game. Olson had six in the game, while Alex Bonner added four.

"Our guys played great tonight. We were a little more mobile with the lineup we had tonight," Wallace pointed out. "What was impressive was how we shared the ball off those turnovers. We were able to convert those turnovers where we had not the last five games. It is very important for us as a unit down the stretch to share the basketball because during our five-game slide we were not playing together as a team. I'm trying to get the right guys to play the game and tonight it looked okay."

The Panthers trailed only twice in the game. Olson's trey put LC ahead to stay, 16-14, with 12:28 left in the first half. LC led by as many as 10 in the half, before going into halftime with a 43-36 lead.

The lead swelled to 15 four minutes into the second half. Adedoyin's jumper finished a run of eight straight points to make it 53-38. The Cougars never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way. Adedoyin's three-point lead gave the Panthers their largest lead, 92-71, with 51 seconds remaining.

The Panthers host Ferrum in a USA South game Sunday starting at 2 p.m.