Men's Basketball: Panthers cruise by Columbia International 90-52

Men's Basketball: Panthers cruise by Columbia International 90-52

LaGrange cruised by Columbia International 90-52 in non-conference action Saturday in Mariotti Gym.

The Panthers (12-3) have won their last two games by a combined 71 points. It marked the first since the 193-94 season a Panther team had won back-to-back games by more than 30 points each. The 38 point win was the third largest by the Panthers under Kendal Wallace.

Alex Bonner led all scorers with 17 points, 13 coming in the first half. Justyn Olson added 14 points and Braxton Ford 10. 

Mark Wagner, the Panthers' leading scorer, did not score in a game for the first time since his freshman season. He contributed with six rebounds, four steals, and three assists.

The Panthers got off to a slow start, missing their first nine shots in the game. They got their first basket with 13:42 left in the first half, as Olson scored off a layup as part of a three-point play.

The Panthers stayed in the game by making their first 11 free throws. Olson's two free throws broke an 11-11 tie and the Panthers never trailed again.

Duncan Parker's free throw gave the Panthers a 34-19 lead late in the half. The Panthers took a 36-23 lead into halftime, despite shooting 30.3 percent. They held the Rams to 32.3 percent shooting, including 0-for-14 from 3-point range.

The Panthers opened the second half by making their first eight shots as the lead swelled to 29 points, 57-28, with 15:18 remaining. They led by as many as 41 points in the second half.

The Panthers shot 58.8 percent in the second half, finishing the game at 44.8 percent. The Panthers forced 22 turnovers by the Rams. They matched their season high for the third time with 16 steals.

The Panthers host Piedmont in a USA South game Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.