Women's Basketball: Maryville holds off Panthers' second half surge

Women's Basketball: Maryville holds off Panthers' second half surge

Maryville held off a second half LaGrange surge for a 76-72 USA South win Saturday at Mariotti Gymnasium. The Panthers slipped to 5-6 overall and 0-4 in the conference.

Sophomore Madison McDonald, junior Caroline Brashier and senior Heather Miller accounted for 64 of the Panthers' points in the game.

McDonald had a game and career-high 27 points, all in the second half. She was 8-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and made all eight of her free throws.

Brashier had 16 second half points to finish with a career-high 21 points. Miller finished with 16 points, despite shooting 3-for-18 from the floor.

Both teams got off to a slow start. The Panthers led 7-1 after five minutes. Maryville did not score a basket until Janell Menard's with 9:32 left in the half.

The Scots (10-1, 4-0 USA South) outscored the Panthers 14-1 over the final 4:25 of the first half to lead 28-16 at the break. The Panthers shot only 12.5 percent in the half, making 4-of-32 shots. Maryville shot 22.2 percent, making 6-of-27 shots.

Maryville continued to build on its lead at the start of the second half. The Scots scored three quick baskets to go up by 18.

Trailing 47-31 with 11 minutes left, the Panthers outscored the Scots 21-6 over the next six minutes to get within a point.

McDonald and Brashier fueled the Panthers' run by combining for 18 points. McDonald started the run with a three-point play and her 3-pointer made it 53-52 with 5:23 left.

The Panthers could never catch the Scots. Alex Bond's two free throws gave Maryville a 66-57 lead with 2:01 left. Miller's basket in the final seconds accounted for the 76-72 final.

Maryville was led by Kiera Payne's 18 points. Payne had 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double. Tayler Smith also had a double-double of 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Menard finished with 17 points.

The Panthers host Peace and Meredith in USA South contests next Friday and Saturday.