MARYVILLE, Tenn. - LaGrange rolled past Covenant 79-56 on Friday in the first round of the USA South Tournament at Maryville College.
The Panthers (17-9) will face West Division top seed Maryville at 5 p.m. on Saturday with a berth in next week's semifinals on the line. Maryville won the two regular season meetings by scores of 63-58 and 64-62.
"We got off to a slow start and were a little nervous early," Coach Lee Buchanan said. "Once the quarter ended we seemed to relax and just play. We shot it very well in the second quarter and were able to get a solid lead at the half.
"I was very pleased with our defense in the second half only giving up 23 points. Our good shooting continued in the second half and we had solid inside and outside balance. I was very pleased with our assists and unselfish play tonight as well."
LaGrange spotted Covenant (12-13) a 19-14 first quarter lead. Over the next two periods, the Panthers outscored the Scots 48-22 to blow the game open.
Leading 42-33 at halftime, the Panthers opened the third period on a 13-1 run to open up a 55-34 lead. LC led by as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers shot an even 50 percent in the game, including 10-of-20 from 3-point range. Marilauren Farr led all scorers with 16 points. Megan Garcia hit 3-of-5 3-point attempts and finished with 11 points, while Kelsey Walthall added 10.
LaGrange had 26 asssists in the game and also forced 26 turnovers. Covenant was held to 33.3 percent shooting in the game, including 5-of-23 on 3-point attempts.