Women's Basketball: Panthers pull away from Covenant for fifth straight win

Women's Basketball: Panthers pull away from Covenant for fifth straight win

LaGrange won its fifth straight game, pulling away from Covenant for a 62-44 USA South win Friday night in Mariotti Gym.

The Panthers (15-7, 9-4 USA South) got a game-high 18 points from Lauren Johnson. Kymberli Payno added 12 points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds to go with three blocks.

"I thought we struggled to get going tonight, but credit Covenant for that," said Coach Lee Buchanan. "I was pleased with the way we responded in the second period. Our defensive intensity went way up and we started getting the ball to the rim.

"Overall, the team really focused after halftime and we looked like ourselves. Once again, we have to have a short memory because we have another big game tomorrow."

Covenant (7-14, 4-9 USA South) led 16-11 after the first quarter. But the Panthers' defense clamped down on the Scots in the second period.

The Panthers held the Scots to 1-for-15 shooting in the period. Trailing 18-14, the Panthers ran off 15 straight points to take a 29-18 lead. Johnson's three-pointer broke a 18-18 tie and the Panthers never trailed again.

Covenant never got closer than 11 in the second half. Aliyah Williams' free throw with 1:54 left, gave the Panthers their largest lead, 62-40.

The Panthers host nationally-ranked Maryville for Senior Day on Saturday. Tip-off is 4 p.m.