Men's Basketball: Panthers knock off Ferrum 76-71 for second straight USA South win

Photo by Corey Hammett
Photo by Corey Hammett

LaGrange knocked off Ferrum 76-71 for its second straight USA South win Sunday in Mariotti Gym. The victory over their Virginia counterparts upped the Panthers' record to 9-7 and 2-3 in conference play.

"Ferrum is a great team and a very tough ball club. We were lucky to to catch them in a second game swing," said Coach Kendal Wallace. "I think they were a little tired but I want to think we had a lot to do with that, although we didn't play defense as I wanted."

Justyn Olson's 23 points led the Panthers. Alex Bonner followed with 17 points and Elijah Adedoyin finished with 14. Adedoyin was a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line.

In the game, the Panthers were 30-of-38 at the line. They also had a 39-29 advantage on the boards, including a 12-6 edge on the offensive glass. LC forced 18 turnovers, leading to 20 points.

"Our guys have been receptive to what we're trying do and worked hard in practice," Wallace said. "This is a big boost for us to get two wins at home and get back in somewhat a decent standing in the conference."

Ferrum (8-7, 3-1 USA South) was coming off a 69-67 double overtime win at Huntingdon on Saturday. Josh Grimard, who led all scorers with 27 points, helped the visitors take a 33-32 halftime lead with 3-point shooting. Grimard had five of Ferrum's 10 treys in the game.

The Panthers trailed by as many as eight points in the first half. Drew Vanderbrook's two free throws gave LC its only lead of the half, 32-31, with 29 seconds left. But Jovon Miller scored with five seconds showing to give Ferrum its one point lead at the break.

"We wanted to come out in the second half and really make a statement on what we were trying to do," Wallace pointed out. "We were lucky to make some shot and get them to make some turnovers."

After tying the game four times, the Panthers took the lead for good. A layup by Bonner, followed by Jamison McCray's 3-pointer put LC up 55-51 with 8:13 left in the game.

Bonner's two free throws pushed the Panthers' lead to 10, 67-57, with 3:20 remaining. Ferrum got within  one, 72-71, with 18 seconds left. Adedoyin and Olson sealed the win with four straight free throws for the 76-71 final.

The Panthers host Covenant in a USA South game next Saturday at 4 p.m. Covenant won the first meeting 93-82 in overtime Jan. 6.