LaGrange won its fifth straight game, beating Averett 91-76 in a USA South game Sunday in Mariotti Gym. The Panthers upped their record to 11-4 overall and 7-1 in conference play.
Jamison McCray led LC with 22 points, followed by Elijah Adedoyin with 11. Travis Thompson had a double-double of 10 points and rebounds each. Lincoln Anderson also had 10 points and 7 rebounds. Jalen McCallum had 9 points and 2 blocks. McCallum became the third LC player to reach 100 career blocks.
The Panthers shot a blistering 71.4 percent in the first half to lead 48-33. They finished the game shooting a season-high 66.7 percent. Averett (3-11, 3-4) rallied in the second half. The Cougars got within four points on two occasions, only to have the Panthers answer each time. In the final five minutes, Anderson and McCallum both fouled out and Thompson left the game with an injury. Adedoyin helped the Panthers pull away, scoring all nine of his second half points down the stretch and leading at the defensive end.
"Elijah is an amazing young man who has been great for us all four years. He's played every position on the court," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "On our last timeout, I called everyone over when McCallum fouled out. I said Elijah has really picked up his defense and he's been showing the desire that he wants to win this game, let's everybody else do that and I think it kind of motivated the guys to pick it up in the last three or four minutes."
The Panthers will be on the road for their final four games in January, beginning at Brevard next Saturday. LC won the first meeting 80-73 in Mariotti Gym on Dec. 16. The Panthers return home Feb. 1 against Methodist.
"Being able to have the week off will help us after Travis got injured," said Wallace. "Hopefully, we can get him back healthy. He was one of the main reasons we won this game. He was bound and determined to get rebounds and play simple basketball like we've been doing. I was really proud of all the guys."