Women's Basketball: LC opens USA South slate with 66-47 road win at Covenant

Danielle Newton looks to shoot in Wednesday's 78-49 win against Huntingdon.
Danielle Newton looks to shoot in Wednesday's 78-49 win against Huntingdon.

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. - LaGrange returned from a long layoff with a 66-47 USA South win at Covenant on Saturday.

It was the fifth straight win for the Panthers (7-2, 1-0 USA South), who had not played since beating Toccoa Falls 52-44 on Dec. 4. The host Scots slipped to 2-7 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

"I was really proud of the way we played today. Playing at Covenant is always tough and we had not played a game in almost a month," Coach Lee Buchanan said. "I thought our team really executed the game plan very well. Our defense in the first half was very, very good and offensively we took good shots out of our plays.

"I was disappointed in our turnovers and free throw shooting but other than that is was a complete game."

Sophomore Lauren Johnson led all scorers with 11 points, all in the first half. Senior Kelsey Mitchell and junior KelseyWalthall added 10 points each.

Senior Madison Barker pulled down a game-best 10 rebounds. The Panthers had a whopping 56-31 advantage on the boards, including a 23-8 offensive rebound edge.

The Panthers improved their conference leading scoring defense by holding an opponent under 50 points for the sixth time in nine games. Covenant shot 30.9 percent in the game, including making only 5-of-30 3-point attempts.

The Panthers never trailed in the game. They opened the game with a 9-0 run and led 15-5 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Johnson, Morgan McDonald and Danielle Newton combined for 16 of the Panthers' 21 points in the period. The Panthers scored the final eight points of the half to open up a 36-14 lead.

The Scots got as close as 13, 54-41, in the final period. Mitchell scored the Panthers' final seven points to open up a 66-45 lead with 2:24 left.

Buchanan was able to play all 17 available players. The Panther bench outscored Covenant's 32-14. 

"We had 32 points off the bench and really good scoring balance. Every player who saw the floor was productive for us," Buchanan added.

The Panthers host Millsaps in a non-conference game Monday at 5 p.m. in Mariotti Gym.