Sixteenth-ranked Maryville topped LaGrange 82-74 in a USA South game Sunday afternoon in Mariotti Gym. The Panthers (7-9, 2-1 USA South) suffered their first conference loss. The Scots improved to 14-1 and 4-0 in conference play with their 10th straight win.
Senior Bershard Edwards led three Panthers in double figures with 17 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Zach Hill followed with 15 points and Kyle Brown finished with 14, 12 coming in the second half.
Maryville got 22 points from Chase Ridenour, 19 coming in the first half. Felix Uadiale had a double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds. JR Sanders added 16 points and Nicholas Clifton 10.
Coach Kendal Wallace
You can't let the No. 16 team in the country come in here and get a 15-16 point lead and expect to battle back and win the game. I'm proud of my guys for fighting the entire time, they never quit. We got lucky on a couple of possessions and were able to claw and fight back in it. We just gave up way too much defensively when they drove to the basket. In the second half, we wanted to be tougher in the paint. We felt like they pushed us around in the first half and that's just not typical of us. Believe me, Maryville has a really good team and couple of good post players, but I would go to war with Zac and Kyle any day of the week."
Maryville never trailed in the game. The Scots jumped out to a 12-1 lead. The Panthers came back with a 9-0 run of their own to cut the Scots' lead to four. Cooper Dolhancyk's steal led to a jumper by Hill and his own 3-pointer make it 14-10. The Scots pushed their lead to 13, 29-16, with 6:05 left in the half. The Panthers again got within four after Brown and Edwards hit jumpers to make it 35-31. But the Scots scored the final five points of the half, the last three on a trey by Sanders at the buzzer, for a 40-31 lead.
Maryville continued to build the lead in the second half. Uadiale's dunk gave the Scots a 70-50 lead with 8:05 remaining. The Panthers cut the Scots' lead to 10 on three occasion. Trailing 80-69, the Panthers made one last run at the Scots. Edwards drove the lane for a basket, then made a steal at the defensive end. Hill hit a jumper and Brown made the first of two free throws to make it a six point game, 80-74, with 17 seconds left. The Scots got a pair of free throws from Myles Rasnick for the 82-74 final.
The Panthers have three USA South games next week, starting at Piedmont on Thursday. The Panthers won the first meeting 66-62 on Tuesday of this week. They will host Berea and Brevard on Saturday and Sunday in Mariotti Gym.