Men's Basketball: Big first half runs propel Panthers past Millsaps 79-57

Men's Basketball: Big first half runs propel Panthers past Millsaps 79-57

LaGrange used big runs in the first half and went on to a 79-57 win over Millsaps in a non-conference game Monday in Mariotti Gym.

The win pushed the Panthers' record to 10-2. They are off to the second best start in the program's history. The 1992-93 Panthers started 11-1.

"We did a great job of not turning the ball over and assisting on made field goals. We were lucky to catch Millsaps coming off an overtime loss the day before," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "They are well coached and play hard, I just think they were a little tired. The guys followed our game plan and executed  when we needed to early."

The Panthers tied a season low with only eight turnovers and finished with 17 assists. Eight different Panthers had an assist, led by Alex Bonner, who had four. Bonner also had 10 points off the bench and a team-high six rebounds.

For the third game in a row, Justyn Olson led the Panthers' scoring. Olson finished with 16 points and four steals. Drew Vanderbrook added 11 points.

Millsaps (1-11) was coming off a 81-78 overtime loss at Birmingham-Southern on Sunday. But the Majors got off to a hot start Monday. They wiped out an early 11-7 Panthers' lead with 13 straight points to go up 20-11 seven minutes into the game.

Braxton Ford's 3-pointer started a 20-0 blitz by the Panthers. Ford hit three treys during the run and another 3 by Vanderbrook put the Panthers up 31-20 with 7:50 left in the half.

Leading 33-28, the Panthers finished the half on a 16-3 run to lead 49-31 at the break. The Panthers led by as many as 26 in the second half as the Majors never got closer than 19 the rest of the way.

The Panthers play at Maryville (9-3, 1-1 USA South) in a key USA South game Saturday beginning at 4 p.m.