Men's Basketball: Bench carries Panthers past William Peace 76-73

Men's Basketball: Bench carries Panthers past William Peace 76-73

Strong bench play led LaGrange to a 76-73 win over William Peace on Saturday in Mariotti Gym. The Panthers have posted back-to-back victories for the first time this season, raising their record to 8-6 overall and 3-3 in conference play.

The Panthers played without leading scorer Alex Bonner, who was injured in Wednesday's win at Huntingdon. Freshmen Julian Cameron and Lincoln Anderson helped fill the void combining for 31 points off the bench, with Cameron having a game-high 17 points. Anderson also had seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

LC's reserves totaled 49 points in the game. They accounted for 32 of the Panthers' 46 second-half points as they overcame a 15-point first half deficit.

"Lincoln Anderson played an incredible game as well as the other guys," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "We had big rebounds by Travis Thompson in the end and sometimes we don't play very smart but luckily we were able to come out on top. It's a great day for the Panthers and I'm very happy to get the win. Everybody we face plays us like its the national championship game and our young guys haven't figured that out."

William Peace (3-11, 2-4 USA South) controlled the first half. The Pacers led 32-17 with four minutes left in the half. The Panthers chipped away at the Pacers' lead. Jack McCormack hit a trey and then followed with a pair of free throws to make it 37-30 by halftime.

"We've talked all year about coming out of the gate and play well early in the game and we just haven't been able to accomplish that," Wallace pointed out."Teams have come out and punched us in the mouth all year long and again they did it again today."

LC started the second half on a 10-1 run to grab the lead. Jamison McCray had seven of his 16 points in the run, including a 3-pointer for a 40-38 lead. 

The Panthers built a 64-56 lead, only to have William Peace run off seven straight points to make it a one-point game with five minutes left. Cameron and Anderson answered for LC with three straight treys to open up a 73-63 lead. The Pacers made another run to cut it the Panthers lead  to 73-70. But Cameron drained another 3-pointer to push the lead back to six, as the Panthers held on for the victory.

William Peace had a 23-14 rebounding edge at halftime. Thompson, who had a game-high 10 rebounds. helped the Panthers hold a 25-18 advantage in the second half.

The Panthers play at Greensboro and Methodist in USA South games next Saturday and Sunday.