ATLANTA, Ga. - Wisconsin-Whitewater powered past LaGrange 89-63 at the Emory Holiday Classic on Thursday. The Panthers slipped to 5-8, while the Warriors upped their record to 9-4. It was the final non-conference game for LC on the 2021-22 schedule. The Panthers open USA South conference play Jan. 8 at Piedmont.
Sophomore Cooper Dolhancyk tied his season and career high with 17 points coming off the bench. Junior Zac Hill had 13 points, while senior Kyle Brown, the Panthers' leading scorer, added 10. Brown had seven rebounds and three blocks in the game. Whitewater got a game-high 20 points from Derek Gray.
Coach Kendal Wallace
"These two games were the tale of two teams. A very good enthusiastic and energized team vs BSC and then a lathargic and uninspired team vs UWW. It's a sign of our youth and immaturity. Both days we got great looks on offense. When our offense clicks our defense clicks and vice versa. We've played some very good basketball teams in our non-conference schedule. We've played well and we've played poorly. We are our greatest ally and our own worst enemy. We must grow up quickly in order to compete for a conference championship. I believe we can do that, but the players must gel together and all believe as well."
Bershard Edwards opened the game with a twisting drive in the lane for the game's first points. Hill hit a jumper in the lane to get LC within one, 5-4, two minutes later. Whitewater outscored the Panthers 26-4 over an eight-minute span to build a commanding 31-8 lead. The Panthers trailed 46-26 at the break. Dolhancyk had 12 of his points in the half. Brown went scoreless in the first half for the first time this season. LC shot only 25.7%, including making just 2-of-11 3-point attempts. The Warhawks had a 28-12 advantage scoring in the paint.
Whitewater opened up a 62-35 lead five minutes into the second half. Brown picked up his first points of the game with 13:51 remaining. The Panthers chipped away at the deficit. Hill's layup made it a 12-point game, 67-55, with 7:20 left in the game. Edwards made a pair of free throws after a technical on Gray to keep the Panthers within 12, 69-57. Whitewater closed out the game on a 20-6 run to win going away.
The Panthers finished the game shooting 32.4%, their lowest shooting percentage of the season... LC had four 3s in the game, tying for the second fewest of the season... The Panthers had seven blocks for the second straight game, tying their season high... The Panthers had their second best free throw shooting game, shooting 71.4% (15-of-21)... This was the first meeting between the Warhawks and Panthers...