Women's Basketball: Panthers overtake Pensacola Christian 57-54 in overtime

Women's Basketball: Panthers overtake Pensacola Christian 57-54 in overtime

LaGrange rallied to down Pensacola Christian 57-54 in overtime Tuesday in Mariotti Gym. The Panthers are now 8-7, while the Lady Eagles slipped to 8-10.

"I was really proud of our effort and perseverance throughout the game. We could have given up several times tonight but kept battling," said Coach Lee Buchanan. "I am very proud of this team as they continue to work and believe what we are teaching. Truly a special win for our players."

Lauren Johnson led the Panthers with 13 points. Austin Richardson had 11 points off the bench, while Jeris Johnson posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

"Jeris had the double-double and took two charges. She was terrific tonight." said Buchanan. "Austin really played a great game. She stepped up when the opportunity presented itself. Her offensive numbers were great but her defense in the second half may have been the difference in the game."

Alyssa Loudermilk's game-high 20 points led Pensacola. Jessica Boyd followed with 10 points.

Loudermilk's 3-pointer put the Lady Eagles up 43-32 two minutes into the final period. The Panthers chipped away at the lead. Richardson's trey tied the game at 46 with 2:35 remaining. 

Jaelyn James made 1-of-2 free throws to put LC up 49-48 with 1:29 showing. It was the first lead of the game for the Panthers. 

The Panthers tied the game at 50 as Kymberli Payno made the second of two free throws. Loudermilk was fouled with two seconds left on the clock. But she missed both free throws as the game went to overtime.

In the extra period, Richardson's layup gave the Panthers a 54-52 lead. They would not surrender the lead. James iced the game with a pair of free throws for the 57-54 final.

"I thought Jaelyn was terrific tonight," Buchanan said. "She had no turnovers in 31 minutes and hit the two big free throws at the end."

Pensacola started the game on a 16-3 run as Loudermilk had 11 points in the first period. The Panthers battled back to trail 18-15 by the end of the period. The Lady Eagles took a 31-25 lead into halftime.

The Panthers play at Salem on Saturday and at Piedmont on Sunday in USA South games.