Men's Basketball: Panthers roar back to beat Brevard 85-76

Men's Basketball: Panthers roar back to beat Brevard 85-76

BREVARD, N.C. - LaGrange wiped out a double-digit second half deficit to beat Brevard 85-76 at Boshamer Gym on Wednesday afternoon. The Panthers evened their season record at 4-4 heading into their Christmas break.

Alex Bonner tied his season high with a game leading 26 points. Duncan Parker had his second double-double in the last three games with a career-high 12 points and 11 rebounds. Jack McCormack came off the bench to hit 4-of-5 3's and finished with 14 points.

"Alex made some perimeter shots which opens up his driving ability," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "Duncan is playing well right now and being a leader. When he has a double-double we are in a good position to win the game.

"Also, Stephen Wagner had his first career start and finished with five assists and four steals. A huge spark for us was Jack coming off the bench with 14 points in only eight minutes of play." 

Brevard (1-7) hit 8-of-11 treys in the first half to take a 44-40 lead. The Panthers held the Tornados to 3-of-10 from 3-point range in the second half, while holding a commanding 38-25 edge in rebounding.

"We played a poor defensive first half," said Wallace. "We didn't stick to the game plan and allowed them to have open looks. We regrouped at halftime and kept them off the offensive glass. We buckled down and got stops down the stretch."

The Tornados led by as many as 12 points twice in the second half. Carson Divese, who led Brevard with 18 points, made it 63-51 with a layup with 12:28 left.

The Panthers answered with a 17-5 run over the five minutes to tie the game. Holt Shannon's 3-pointer off an assist from Wagner tied the game at 68. Divese gave the Tornados their last lead, 70-68, with 7:08 left.

Bonner scored the next six points to put the Panthers ahead to stay, 74-70. The Panthers, who were 18-of-24 at the line in the game, made their final eight free throws to seal the game. The Tornados had only two baskets in the final seven minutes, while going 0-for-5 from 3-point range.

LC shot 63.6 percent in the second half. The Panthers finished the game shooting a season-best 52.6 percent. 

The Panthers play in the Music City Classic on Dec. 29-30. They will play Keene State and Farleigh Dickinson in the tournament.

"We are struggling from the perimeter, so this is a much needed break for our guys to clear their minds," said Wallace. "We have two big non-conference games when we get back and a long road ahead of us in conference play."