DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Seniors Jamison McCray and Jalen McCallum powered LaGrange past St. Joseph (Conn.) 68-63 at the Daytona Beach Shootout on Wednesday. The two seniors combined for 39 points and 27 rebounds as the Panthers improved to 6-3.
McCray had his first career double-double, finishing with a season-high 25 points along with a game and career-high 14 rebounds. McCallum recorded his third double-double of the season with 14 points, 13 points, and 6 blocked shots.
St. Joseph is coached by Jim Calhoun, who has almost 900 career wins and won three Division I titles at the University of Connecticut. The Blue Jays (6-4) were led by Delshawn Jackson's 16 points.
"We played great defense tonight. Our guys battled the entire game," said Coach Kendal Wallace. "We didn't get our heads down when we didn't shoot the ball well and most importantly we stayed together as a team.
"It was great to coach against Coach Calhoun but tonight wasn't about that. Tonight was about us getting better as a team and growing up a little bit. We did that. I'm very proud of how this team is getting better each day."
The Blue Jays led 25-17 with 5:07 left in the first half, their largest of the game. McCallum's put back dunk of Bershard Edwards' shot at the end of the half got the Panthers within three, 26-23.
The lead changed hands five times in the second half before LC pulled ahead to stay. Trailing 44-41, the Panthers ran off seven straight points to take the lead for good. Julian Cameron's trey finished the run with 6:27 remaining. Cameron had 13 points in the game, 9 coming in the second half. McCallum's dunk gave LC its biggest lead, 63-51, with two minutes remaining. The Panthers' final five points came at the free throw line.
The Panthers continue play in the tournament against Marian (Wisc.) on Thursday.