BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Jalaya Lewis and Gracie Brunel scored a combined 35 points for the LaGrange College women's basketball team during a 73-68 triumph over No. 25 Millsaps Sunday at Birmingham-Southern.
Lewis tied career-highs with a game-best 20 points and team-leading eight rebounds for the Panthers (3-2). Lewis shot 8 of 10 from the free-throw line, to go along with three steals. Brunel set an individual record with a game-high nine assists and scored 15 points. The nine assists are tied for the 10th most in a single game in program history.
Freshman guard Bryanna Sanders was outstanding in 19 minutes off the bench and played an enormous role down the stretch in the fourth quarter. She scored a career-high 11 points and shot 3 of 5 on treys, while tallying four boards and two steals.
"It was great to end the weekend by defeating a ranked opponent," said LaGrange College Women's Basketball Head Coach Jasen Jonus. "It was awesome to see our depth show up again, as 10 players scored on the day. Jalaya and Gracie did a good job making things happen. I was thrilled with the way Bryanna played on both ends. She is a very talented first-year player and has a strong basketball IQ."
The Majors (0-3) had a balanced attack with six players scoring eight or more points. Andrea Rayford led the charge with a team-high 14 points and game-leading nine rebounds.
With 2:28 left in the first quarter, senior forward Megan English received a pass and immediately located freshman guard Britney Chavez for a right-wing three-ball, cutting the Majors' lead to 12-11. On back-to-back possessions at the end of the first, Brunel connected on 3-point shots, giving LC a 19-12 advantage with 34 seconds on the clock.
Thirty-three seconds into the second, junior center Jada Strickland made a hustle play, recording a steal and making a great save on a ball heading out of bounds in front of the Panther bench. A right-wing 3-pointer by Sanders off an inbounds pass by Brunel gave LaGrange a 32-24 advantage with 1:51 remaining in the opening half.
English gave the Panthers a double-digit lead for the first time at 43-32 on a 3-point shot with 5:56 left in the third. Junior forward Karson Troth tallied a steal, and then Brunel spotted Sanders for a transition 3-pointer with 1:45 on the clock, putting LC in front, 53-37, with 1:45 on the scoreboard.
The Majors responded with an 11-0 surge, cutting the Panthers' lead to 53-48 on a layup by Emily Sims with 6:51 remaining in the fourth. Brunel knocked down a huge 3-pointer from the left baseline with 6:09 left, giving LC an eight-point cushion. Sanders also connected on a crucial trey with 1:50 on the board, extending LC's lead to 72-60.
English finished with eight points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. LaGrange led the steals category, 18-9, and the assists statistic, 16-11. The Panthers also held advantages in fast-break points, 18-4, and points off turnovers, 32-15.
The Panthers are 4-4 all-time against the Majors and snapped a three-game losing streak to Millsaps. LC's last victory in the series came by a score of 42-40 on Nov. 17, 2006.
LaGrange will play Pensacola Christian Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Mariotti Gym.
Assistant Sports Information Director Trevor Wenners can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.