BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Junior guard Gracie Brunel scored a career and game-high 26 points for the LaGrange College women's basketball team during a 110-101 loss at Birmingham-Southern Saturday.
Brunel tied personal-bests for LaGrange (2-2) with nine made field goals and five made free throws. Senior guard Jalaya Lewis finished with 19 points, a career-high eight rebounds and four assists. Senior forward Megan English tied an individual record with nine rebounds.
LC's freshman class continued to shine, as Kendra Roberts, Ema Turner (9 points), Britney Chavez and Bryanna Sanders combined for 33 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and three steals, while shooting 14 of 27 from the field. Roberts (10 points, 5 rebounds) and Chavez (8 points, 6 rebounds) set personal records in points and rebounds, while Sanders shot 2 for 3 on treys.
The 101 points were the 14th most in a single game in program history and marked the 17th time that LaGrange women's basketball has reached the 100-point plateau. LC's 39 made field goals were the 10th most in a single game in team history.
Birmingham-Southern (2-1) saw seven players score in double figures, headlined by an 18-point effort by McKenna Buckner. Josie Wannemuehler went 6 of 11 from the field and finished with 16 points.
Senior guard Jada Brown (14 points, 7 rebounds) nailed a pair of free throws, giving LC an 8-4 lead with 8:23 remaining in the first quarter. The hosts responded with a 15-5 surge, taking a 19-13 lead behind a 3-point shot by Buckner with 5:59 on the clock. A layup by Lewis with two seconds left in the first trimmed the deficit to 32-29 at the end of one.
Brunel found a rhythm midway through the second. She buried a three-ball, got two points at the line and finished a layup. Her seven straight points brought LC to within three at 47-44 with 5:35 showing. Birmingham-Southern built a 65-56 lead with 46 seconds left, but back-to-back layups by Chavez sent LaGrange into halftime only behind five points.
Birmingham-Southern scored the first nine points of the third, building a 74-60 advantage on a 3-pointer by Mackenzie Raleigh with 7:20 on the scoreboard. The hosts' lead ballooned to 92-71 with 2:21 left, but LC was able to trim the deficit down to 96-80 going into the final quarter on back-to-back free throws by Roberts.
LaGrange kept chipping away and made it an eight-point game at 98-90 with 5:45 remaining on a jumper by Lewis. Birmingham-Southern regained a 15-point lead with 4:38 left. LC responded with an 8-0 run, as a layup by Brown with 3:46 remaining cut the deficit down to 105-98. LaGrange was not able to get closer the rest of the way with Birmingham-Southern closing out a nine-point victory.
LaGrange shot 42.9% from the field (39 of 91) and 80.0% from the foul line (16 for 20). The visitors scored 56 points in the paint, 35 bench points, 27 fast-break points and 18 points off turnovers.
LaGrange is 1-5 all-time against Birmingham-Southern, losing three straight games in the rivalry. LC's last win in the series came by a score of 70-58 on Nov. 17, 2012.
The Panthers will play No. 25 Millsaps Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern Time in Birmingham, Alabama.
Assistant Sports Information Director Trevor Wenners can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.