Men's Basketball: Vanderbrook scores 27, as Panthers run past Huntingdon 100-67

Men's Basketball: Vanderbrook scores 27, as Panthers run past Huntingdon 100-67

Led by junior Drew Vanderbrook, LaGrange ran past visiting Huntingdon 100-67 in a USA South game Wednesday.

The Panthers upped their record to 11-3 on the season and 2-1 in conference play. Huntingdon fell to 6-7 and 1-4.

"We shot the ball extremely well tonight and played as a team," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "Drew had a great overall game and the 26 assists we had is incredible.

The 26 assists is one shy of the mark of 27 set against Carver Bible in 2006 for the most in a game by the Panthers in the NCAA era of the program. 

Mark Wagner had seven assists, while Justyn Olson had six and Braxton Ford five. Olson finished with 14 points and Ford 11.

"The guys may finally started to listen to me about sharing the ball," Wallace noted. "Braxton executed our game plan and the team followed."

Vanderbrook had a game and season-high 27 points, 19 coming in the first half. He was 7-of-10 from 3-point range, while blocking five shots on the defensive end.

The Panthers finished the game with 16 treys, the most in the NCAA era for the program. They eclipsed the 15 set four times in a game, the last against Piedmont in 2004.

The Panthers never trailed in the game. They opened up a 34-13 lead midway through the first half.

Wagner's driving layup at the buzzer gave the Panthers a 54-28 lead at the break.

The Hawks chipped away at the Panthers' lead in the second half. A basket off a Panther turnover made it an 11-point game, 63-52, with 10:45 left.

But a jumper by Vanderbrook started a spectacular 28-3 scoring spree by the Panthers over the next five minutes. Five different Panthers made a total of seven 3-pointers in the span. 

Ford and Elijah Adedoyin each had two treys. Vanderbrook, Olson, and Jacob Gaetanos each had a 3. The one by Gaetanos put the Panthers up 91-55 with 5:20 left.

The Panthers reached the century point mark with Michael McCauley's put back of a missed shot with 28 seconds left. It marked the third time this season the Panthers have scored at least 100 points.  

"We had 15 of the 16 guys that played score, which was incredible," Wallace pointed out. "It was also great to have our students out to support us."

The Panthers host Columbia International in a non-conference game Saturday at 4 p.m.