Women's Basketball: Panthers pull away from Pensacola Christian 72-61

Photo by Corey Hammett
Photo by Corey Hammett

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - LaGrange pulled away to beat Pensacola Christian 72-61 at the Huntingdon College Classic on Friday. It was the second straight win for the Panthers (2-0), who play Rust on Saturday to close out the tournament.

enior guard Lauren Johnson led four Panthers in double figures with 21 points. Riley Chlupacek followed with a career-high 14 points. Johnson and Chlupacek had nine of the Panthers' 11 three-pointers in the game. Austin Richardson and Marilauren Farr added 11 and 10 points respectively.

"Tonight's game was a battle all night long," Coach Lee Buchanan said. "We got off to a slow start but made a nice run at the end of the second quarter to lead by one at halftime. I thought we made a couple of nice adjustments at the half that helped us get off to a good start in the third quarter."

Pensacola Christian (5-4) led 28-21 with 3:35 left in the second quarter. LC outscored the Eagles 11-3 to take a 32-31 lead at halftime. Johnson's trey made it a one point game and a jumper by Richardson with 13 seconds showing gave the Panthers the lead.

LaGrange scored the first 11 points of the third quarter to open up a 13 point lead. Chlupacek, Johnson, and Jaelyn James all hit 3's during the run. The Lady Eagles started chipping away at the Panthers' lead.

Jessica Boyd got the Lady Eagles within two, 63-61, with 3:20 left. Boyd led all scorers with 23 points. The Panthers shut down the Lady Eagles the rest of the way, ending the game on a 9-0 run. LC made only 11-of-23 from the free throw line, but made its final four to help put the game away.

"Lauren and Riley really got going from behind the 3-point line in the second half that turned the game around," said Buchanan. "Once again, we had a complete team effort and were able to have four players in double figures. This team has to continue to work hard and believe in each other. I am proud of our players and their effort each day.

"We will have to be ready for our third game in three days in less than 24 hours."