Women's Basketball: Morgan McDonald's free throws give Panthers 49-47 win over Oglethorpe

Morgan McDonald had one of the Panthers' two 3-pointers in Sunday's win at N.C. Wesleyan
Morgan McDonald had one of the Panthers' two 3-pointers in Sunday's win at N.C. Wesleyan

ATLANTA, Ga. - Senior Morgan McDonald made two free throws with less than one second remaining lifting LaGrange to a 49-47 win over Oglethorpe at the USA South/SAA Challenge on Sunday.

The Panthers finished the tournament 2-0 and improved to 4-2 on the season. The host Stormy Petrels dipped to 4-3.

"I am very proud of our perseverance and effort today," Coach Lee Buchanan said. "We beat a quality Oglethorpe team today. It was a battle for 40 minutes and we found a way to pull out the win.

"Our defense was outstanding, only allowing 18 points in the second half. We had several players step up tonight and showed what a true team can do."

Seniors Hannah Landers and Kelsey Walthall led the Panthers with 12 points each. Landers scored all of hers off 3-pointers, making four of the team's five in the game. 

The Panthers had rallied from 10 points down in the third quarter to take a 47-41 lead with 4:58 remaining in the game. Landers' trey started a 7-0 run, ending on back-to-back layups by Madison Barker and Lauren Johnson.

Oglthorpe tied the game at 47 on Emily Buck's layup with seven seconds left. Buck led all scorers with 16 points.

The Panthers brought the ball down the court and McDonald was fouled by Bailey Charles with .04 seconds showing. McDonald then hit both free throws to give the Panthers the win. The Panthers were 12-of-13 at the line in the game.

"I'm so very happy for Morgan and the rest of her teammates from the free throw line because ultimately that's what it came down to," said Buchanan.

Oglethorpe led 29-21 at halftime. In the second half, the Panthers held the Stormy Petrels to 21.4 percent shooting. Led by Walthall, the Panther bench had a 22-8 advantage over Oglethorpe's

Sophomore Kymberli Payno set a school record with six blocks in the game. She broke Macie Hoard's mark of five set at Atlanta Christian on Feb. 9, 2001. Payno is already third on the school career list for block with 40 in just 33 games.  The Panthers had eight blocks in the game, the second most ever by the team. 

The Panthers play at Agnes Scott on Wednesday and at Toccoa Falls on Friday before taking a break for the holidays.