• 57°

Pfeiffer downed at home by LaGrange, 99-97

Visiting LaGrange College fought off a late Pfeiffer University charge to take a 99-97 win over the Falcons in USA South play at Merner Gym on Saturday afternoon.

Down 54-48 at halftime, Pfeiffer fought back in the beginning of the second, cutting the Panther lead to one at the 15:00 mark, 65-64. The Falcons later took their first lead 66-65 at 14:17 after a tip-in from Nolan Whitener as he followed a miss by guard Gabe Miller.

The teams swapped leads over the next three minutes, with LaGrange eventually pulling ahead 85-78 with 7:13 to play.

The Panther lead swelled to 92-83 following a 3-pointer from Gary Bishop with 3:21 remaining.

Pfeiffer then started to chip away at the lead, aided by poor free throw shooting by LaGrange. The Falcons closed the gap to 93-90 after Miller drilled a straight-away 3-pointer with 1:47 left.

The Panthers then went up by five (98-93) but the Falcons again closed to 98-96, this time after a pair of Craig Sabb free throws with 11 seconds left. After LaGrange went up 99-95, Pfeiffer’s Kyle Riddle was fouled on a 3-point attempt. Riddley hit the first two shots and his intentional miss and the Pfeiffer tip in attempt as time expired did not go down, with LaGrange taking the 99-97 win.

As a team, LaGrange hit 15 3-pointers on the afternoon, good for 53.6 percent while Pfeiffer managed 11 from long range (28.2 percent).

Individually for Pfeiffer, Riddley led the way with a game-high 31. Josiah Avington had 20 while hitting three from distance and Whitener secured a double-double, his first of the year, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Sabb added 12 points while pulling down eight rebounds and dishing five assists for the Falcons.

LaGrange had five players reach double-digits, with Jamison McCray scoring 22 off the bench. Travis Thompson led the way with 17 while Julian Cameron and Gary Bishop each had 16. Jalen McCallum finished with 14 to round out the double-figure scoring for the Panthers.

With the loss, Pfeiffer drops to 9-9 overall and 4-7 in league play. LaGrange improves to 14-4 and 10-1 in USA South play with the win.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

email author More by Charles