Covenant rallied in the second half to edge LaGrange 79-76 in a USA South game Saturday in Mariotti Gym. The third straight loss dropped the Panthers (14-7, 10-4 West Division) three games behind the West Division-leading Scots (14-7, 13-1 USA South).
"We can't get the shots to go down these days. I thought we played a great game and did everything we were supposed to do," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "We ran the game plan correctly, but just couldn't finish it out. We have to get back to work Monday and figure out how to get back on the winning side of things."
Travis Thompson tied his career high with 30 points. The senior had arguably one of the best halves by a Panther in the program's history. Thompson was a perfect 10-for-10, including two 3-pointers, and had 23 points at the half. He finished the game with a team-high 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Thompson's offensive explosion helped stake the Panthers to a 50-34 halftime lead. Covenant, who got a game-high 32 points from Will Crumly, chipped away at the deficit in the second half. Crumly's dunk gave the Scots their first lead of the game, 69-67, with eight minutes left. Jamison McCray's trey and a jumper by Thompson put the Panthers up 72-69. Thompson's two free throws and shot in the lane by Jalen McCallum tied the game twice, the last at 76-76, with 1:24 remaining. The Scots broke the tie on Mitchell Hollis' 3-pointer with 22 seconds left and the Panthers' last possession came up short.
The Panthers play at Berea next Saturday and at Maryville next Sunday in USA South games.