Panthers drop fifth straight, lose 85-76 to Rust
Senior Joe Cromwell reached a career
milestone for the Panthers. Cromwell went over the 1,000 point mark
in his career in the game, finishing with a game-high 22 points.
Nic Whitfield added 16 points and Dillon McLaughlin added 12.
The Panthers shot 43.9 percent in the game. The Panthers had a 40-36 edge in rebounding. Cromwell and Whitfield had eight rebounds each to lead the Panthers. The Panthers were hurt by 24 turnovers in the game.
Rust had four players in double figures. Markeith Wilson led the Bearcats with 18 points. Tevin Burkes and Fabion McPherson had 13 points each. Burkes also had a game-high nine rebounds.
The Panthers trailed 39-33 at halftime. The game was tied seven times and the lead changed eight more times in the half. Stephen Spivey's basket off an assist from Blake Craft gave the Panthers their last lead of the half, 25-23, with 5:42 remaining.
Cromwell reached his milestone with a jumper in the first three minutes of the second half. He is the 22nd Panther to score at least 1,000 points in a career.
Marcus Vaughn scored inside to put the Panthers up 52-51 with 11:19 left in the game. It was the last lead of the night for the Panthers. Cromwell hit a pair of free throws to get the Panthers within one, 55-54, two minutes later.
Rust went on a 19-5 run over the next four minutes to open up a 74-59 lead. The Panthers came back and a 3-pointer by Clay Wages cut the Bearcats' lead to 75-69 with 2:08 left in the game. The Panthers got as close as six once more after Whitfield scored to make it 77-71 with 1:24 left.
A three-point play by Hakeem Ameen pushed Rust's lead to 85-73 with only 20 seconds left. Cromwell closed out the scoring for the game with a 3-pointer with seven seconds left for the 85-76 final score.
The Panthers host Covenant in a non-conference game Monday. Game time is 8 p.m.