BEREA, Ky. - Berea turned back LaGrange 69-59 in the USA South opener for both teams Friday night. It was the second straight loss for the Panthers, now 4-3.
"We just didn't have enough tonight to win the game. Give Berea credit, they did some good things to effect the outcome," said Coach Lee Buchanan. "We have to value the ball better and stop having turnovers at critical times. We had the game cut to eight points several times in the fourth quarter and then had turnovers.
"We have to become more disciplined with our defense as well. We are giving up too many easy buckets and open looks. As long as we keep working, learning, and growing; we will continue to improve. We have a really quick turnaround with a game at Maryville tomorrow afternoon."
Junior Sarah Evans led the Panthers with 11 points, while Sadie Desroches added 10. Marilauren Farr returned after missing the Oglethorpe game with nine points and 10 rebounds. She has had double figures in rebounds in five of the six games she has played.
Berea (4-2, 1-0 USA South) led 16-4 midway through the first quarter. Farr's basket in the second period gave LC its only lead of the game, 24-23. The Mountaineers rallied to take a 37-26 lead at halftime. The Panthers trailed by as many as 21 in the third stanza and trailed 58-44 heading to the final period. In the fourth, Jahpera McEachin twice got LC within eight with a pair of free throws and jumper in the closing minutes. The Panthers held Berea to five points over the final 4:33.
The Panthers play at Maryville on Saturday in a USA South game. They host Agnes Scott in a USA South game Wednesday at 6 p.m. After breaking for final exams, LC returns on Dec. 14 with a non-conference game at Berry.