ALTOONA, Pa. - Travis Thompson and Alex Bonner combined for 56 points to propel LaGrange to a 104-94 overtime win over Penn State-Altoona in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament on Friday. It was the season opener for the Panthers, who will face Juniata in the tournament championship Saturday at 3 p.m.
"What an exciting game. Although the coach of our opponent tonight is a good friend and former assistant coach, this game was about LaGrange College starting on a positive note," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "We accomplished that. We had several guys in foul trouble, including Bonner, so our bench did a great job of stepping up."
Thompson poured in a game and career-high 30 points. He was 10-of-18 from the floor and 10-of-11 at the line. Bonner scored 26 points before fouling out with 3:57 left in regulation. Elijah Adedoyin added 15 points and Michael McCauley had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The host Lions (0-2), coached by former LC assstant David McGreal, erased a 48-43 halftime deficit and led 74-61 with 8:11 remaining.
The Panthers cut the Lions' lead to six, 76-70, when Bonner picked up his fifth foul. Freshman Holt Shannon's trey started a 7-0 run for the Panthers to take the lead, 84-83. Thompson scored on a put back and added two free throws to finish the run.
Trailing 87-84, the Lions got a three-point play from Rich Bouknight with 10 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime, the Panthers never trailed. Thompson opened the scoring with a driving layup. The Lions tied it briefly before Adedoyin's 3-pointer put the Panthers ahead to stay. McCauley's three-point play pushed the Panthers' lead to 10, 102-92 and finished the scoring with two free throws for the 104-94 final. In the overtime, LC was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor, including two 3 pointers, and 3-for-3 at the free throw line.
"At one point in OT we had three freshman on the floor. Our veteran players closed the deal," said Wallace. "Travis could not be stopped.Michael had a huge double-double. Elijah hit a big shot late and Holt hit huge shots down the stretch for us. Julian Cameron was a major spark offensively and defensively off the bench.
"The difference in OT was that we didn't miss a shot, made all FGs, 3-point attempts and free throws. Our defense got big stops in OT and we out rebounded them by 19 overall in the game. Now we have to get ready for a very strong Juniata team tomorrow. Go Panthers!"