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Women’s Basketball: Panthers second-half comeback falls short in 74-63 loss at No. 12 Maryville

Photo by Emily Walker
Photo by Emily Walker

MARYVILLE, Tenn. – The LaGrange College women's basketball team cut a 15-point, third-quarter deficit down to three four times in the fourth quarter at No. 12 Maryville on Saturday afternoon, but the Scots closed out a 74-63 victory.

Sophomore forward Breonna Glover recorded her second double-double of the season with 10 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. Sophomore forward Morgan Grant finished with a team and career-high 13 points, to go along with eight boards.

Grant and Glover shot a combined 9 of 15 from the field. Glover established low-post position and applied constant pressure to Maryville's interior defense. Grant was active on the offensive glass and a key factor during the second-half surge.  

"We did a good job getting back in the game after digging ourselves into a hole in the third quarter," said LaGrange College women's basketball head coach Jasen Jonus. "Unfortunately, we were not able to get over the hump. These close losses are learning experiences for our team. We will break through if we continue to work hard in practice. We play another loaded team in Piedmont on Tuesday. I am confident that closing out the regular season with three tough games will prepare us adequately for the USA South West Division tournament on March 3 and 6."

The Panthers (8-2 USA South) won the rebounding battle, 50-35, and held an 18-7 advantage in second-chance points. Jordan Heifner led the way for the Scots (10-0) with a game-high 21 points.

FIRST-HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

Midway through the first quarter, senior captain Jahpera McEachin rebounded her missed 3-point shot. Then, she made a tremendous pass on the move to senior center Nadia Montour in the paint. Montour eluded a defender with a spin move and made a jumper, trimming Maryville's lead down to 6-5 with 5:24 left.

Sophomore guard Gracie Brunel was fouled on a left-wing 3-pointer and knocked down 2-of-3 free throws with 3:29 remaining, knotting the game at 10-10. Four consecutive made foul shots by McEachin gave LC a 16-13 advantage with 1:37 on the clock.

Early in the second, junior captain Jada Brown made an explosive play off the dribble and forced a second defender to commit. She slid a pass to Montour for an in-close shot, putting the Panthers in front, 19-18, with 7:54 remaining.

An up-and-under finish by McEachin in traffic cut the Scots' advantage to 31-28. Brunel lobbed an entry pass into Grant, who finished in traffic and brought the visitors to within two at 32-30. Maryville took a 36-31 lead into halftime.

SECOND-HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

The Scots built a 54-39 cushion with 3:25 showing in the third. The Panthers responded with an 11-2 run, starting with a four-point possession. Brown made the first of two free throws and Montour rebounded the second shot. The ball found its way back to Brown and she converted an old-fashioned, 3-point play during a drive down the right side, trimming the deficit to 11.

McEachin gained separation with a spin move and converted a layup, as the Scots' lead was whittled down to 56-50 with nine seconds left in the third.

A steal by Grant ignited a layup by Glover early in the fourth. Senior captain Megan English buried two free throws, making it a 57-54 game with 7:24 remaining. A left-baseline 3-pointer by English off an extra pass from Brunel shaved Maryville's lead to 60-57 with 6:39 left.

Brunel pulled down a rebound and orchestrated a 2-on-1 fast break. She forced the defender to commit and sent a bounce pass to junior guard Jalaya Lewis for a layup. The score sat at 65-62 in favor of Maryville after a made free throw by McEachin with 3:31 on the clock. The Scots secured the win with a 9-1 run the rest of the way.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

Glover records a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game, the 13th-best mark in the USA South. She has finished with double-digit boards three times this season. The Macon, Georgia, native averages 6.9 points on 50.0% shooting from the field.

English finished with seven points and four boards. Montour tallied eight points and three rebounds in the first half.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:

The Scots are 48-4 overall and 24-2 at Maryville in the all-time series with the Panthers.

LC's last win at Maryville occurred on Jan. 25, 2020, by a score of 52-48. The Panthers defeated the Scots, 71-59, in Mariotti Gym on Feb. 3, 2019.  

UP NEXT:

The Panthers are scheduled to play Piedmont on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Demorest, Georgia.

Assistant Sports Information Director Trevor Wenners can be reached at twenners@lagrange.edu.

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