Travis Thompson and Michael McCauley had double-doubles but LaGrange fell to visiting N.C. Wesleyan 91-87 in a USA South game Saturday in Mariotti Gym. The Panthers fell to 12-9 overall and 7-6 in conference play.
Thompson led LC with 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. McCauley also had 10 rebounds and finished with 13 points. The Panthers had three others in double figures. Alex Bonner had 16 points, Julian Cameron had 13 off the bench, and Jamison McCray 10.
LaGrange shot 56.8 percent in the first half in taking a 52-41 halftime lead. The Panthers led by as many as 18 in the half. They cooled off in the second half as the Bishops (14-9, 12-3 USA South) chipped away at LC's lead.
"I thought we played pretty good," said Coach Kendal Wallace. "We shot the ball well in the first half but not as well in the second half. Travis and Michael have been strong in the post for us all season and I'm very proud of what they did tonight."
The Bishops finally caught the Panthers with 4.:37 left. Damon McDowell made one of two free throws to tie the game at 77-77. McDowell gave the Bishops their first lead of the game with a trey for an 80-77 lead.
The Panthers stayed within striking distance. Thompson made a pair of free throws and a layup to get LC within a point on two occasions. The Bishops clinched the game with a pair of free throws for the 91-87 final score.
The Panthers host future USA South member Pfeiffer on Sunday for Senior Day. Bonner, McCauley, Duncan Parker, and Nate Rosetti will be honored. Pfeiffer comes into the game with a 16-4 record and averaging 107.5 points per game.
"It's Senior Day for us and I hope the guys come out ready to play," said Wallace. "We like to play up tempo too and we feel like we can play with anybody in the country that plays that style or any style. We're going to give it our best shot and hope our seniors show up to win one on Senior Day."