Women's Basketball: Panthers down Covenant 62-53 for third straight USA South win

Photo by Corey Hammett
Photo by Corey Hammett

LaGrange downed Covenant 62-53 for its third straight USA South win Friday in Mariotti Gym. The Panthers upped their season record to 7-6 and are now 3-1 in the conference.

"I'm really proud of our effort tonight. Covenant is a very scrappy team that never goes away," Coach Lee Buchanan said. "Our defense was very solid tonight and we did a good job on the boards.

"I thought we got good contributions off the bench that really helped us on both ends of the court. (Austin) Richardson played very well and gave us a huge lift tonight."

Lauren Johnson, the Panthers' leading scorer, was held to six points. Johnson scored all of her points from the free throw line in the final minute.

Kelsey Walthall and Richardson picked up the scoring slack. Walthall scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the first half. Richardson added 10 points. The Panthers' bench scored 30 points in the game.

LC trailed only once in the game, that coming in the first five minutes of the game. Covenant (6-7, 0-3 USA South) stayed close to the Panthers with six first half three pointers. Emma Grimes' trey tied the game at 24 for the Scots with 3:40 left in the half.

The Panthers outscored the Scots 11-2 the rest of the half to take a 35-26 lead. Walthall and Megan Garcia hit the Panthers' only three pointers of the half to spark the run.

In the second half, the Panthers continued to hold on to the lead. Marilauren Farr's basket gave LC its biggest lead, 51-41, with six minutes remaining. Covenant got as close as five points, but the Panthers scored their final nine points at the line to close out the win.

The Panthers host Maryville on Saturday at 6 p.m. in another USA South game.