DECATUR, Ga.—A strong fourth quarter effort was not enough to bring Agnes Scott back from a double-digit deficit in a 52-45 loss to visiting LaGrange. The Scotties had to battle foul trouble for much of the game and LaGrange's ability to knock down shots at the free throw line ultimately made the difference in the game.
The Panthers swept the season series with the Scotties, each by seven points. More importantly, the Panthers are now a half-game ahead in the standings with the tiebreaker in their pocket at 3-9 in the USA South. They also improved to 9-13 on the season.
Agnes Scott falls to 3-19 overall and 2-9 in conference action. They will need to find two wins down the stretch to stay in tournament contention.
The Scotties started the game strong with a 7-0 run in the first two minutes of regulation without allowing LaGrange to even get a good look off. However, a couple of quick fouls in the post on the defensive end put Agnes Scott's top two scorers, Garis Grant (Charleston, S.C.) and Jane Lado (Louisville, Ky.) on the bench for a majority of the first year.
LaGrange took advantage by getting to the rim without the shot-blocking presence for the Scotties and capitalized to the tune of a 29-10 run over the final 18 minutes of the half.
Agnes Scott returned to its starting lineup at the beginning of the third quarter and paid off with another run to creep within seven at the 7:21 mark.
LaGrange continued to pound the low post to draw contact on their offensive end, which allowed them to go on another extended run, 15-2 and put the Scotties in a big hold entering the final quarter.
The Scotties were able to outscore the Panthers by nine in the final quarter but never got closer than the final margin.
Maurilauren Farr led the Panthers with 14 points and seven rebound in a starting role. Key reserve Jeris Johnson nearly completed a double-double with 12 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks.
The Panthers were able to corral 20 offensive rebounds, while Agnes Scott collected 19 on the offensive glass.
Grant led the Scotties with 14 points despite being limited to a season-low 18 minutes due to foul trouble. Anna Weimerskirch (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) contributed nine and five rebounds. Rookie Erica Frank (Conyers, Ga.) had a nice game off the bench with six boards, two steals, and a block.
The Scotties' task ahead begins with a road test against Huntingdon on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Agnes Scott played the Hawks tough in Decatur two weeks ago before Huntingdon was ultimately able to pull away late.