Men's Basketball: Panthers host Methodist in USA South opener Saturday

Men's Basketball: Panthers host Methodist in USA South opener Saturday

LaGrange hosts Methodist on Saturday in Mariotti Gym at 4 p.m. EST in the USA South opener for both teams.

The Panthers are the two-time defending conference tournament champions and enter the game 6-1 on the season and riding a five-game winning streak. They are coming off a 102-85 win over Auburn-Montgomery last Saturday in Mariotti Gym.

Junior guard Justyn Olson and senior guard Mark Wagner each had 21 points in the win over AUM. Wagner leads the team and is second in the USA South in scoring, averaging 18.3 points per game.

Olson is averaging 13.4 points per game and the Panthers have a total of six players averaging in double figures. Sophomore Alex Bonner (11.9 ppg) follows, then senior Braxton Ford (10.7 ppg), junior Drew Vanderbrook (10.2 ppg), and senior Mike White (10.0 ppg).  

Bonner and Vanderbrook are doing all of their scoring coming off the bench. The Panthers got 35 points from their bench in the AUM win and the reserves have outscored their opponent's bench in all seven games. Vanderbrook leads the Panthers in rebounding, averaging 6.4 rebounds per game, with Bonner second at 5.9 per game. 

The Panthers lead the conference with 301 total rebounds. They are second in rebounds per game, averaging 43.0 per game.

The Panthers lead the conference and are 18th in NCAA Division III in scoring, averaging 91.1 points per game. The AUM game was the second this season for the Panthers scoring 100 points or more. 

Methodist is 4-4 and has won its last two games. The Monarchs edged Lynchburg 68-64 at home last Saturday. Senior forward Brandon Monk leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.5 points per game. Senior guard Tabias Hilliard is averaging 12.5 points per game.

Methodist Info: 
Location: Fayetteville, N.C.
Colors: Green, Gold
Enrollment: 2,400
Head Coach: David Smith
Record at MU/Yrs: 199-230 (17th year)
Career Record/Yrs: 199-230 (17th year) 
2014-15 Record: 13-14 (7-7)

The Series:
Overall: MU leads 8-6
at Mariotti: MU leads 5-2
at MU: Tied 3-3
at Neutral Site: LC leads 1-0 
First Game Played: 1991 (MU 105-104)
Last Game Played: 2015 (LC 104-90)
Last MU Win: 2013, 72-68 at LC 
Last LaGrange Win: 2015, 104-90 Neutral
Largest MU Win: 2003, 101-82 at MU
Largest LaGrange Win: 2015, 103-85 at LC