The Maryville College men's basketball team clinched the outright USA South regular season title with an 84-58 victory over LaGrange College on Sunday afternoon in MC's Boydson Baird Gymnasium.
The Scots' stingy defense held LaGrange to a 26% shooting effort (8-for-30) in the first half. The Panthers could not find their perimeter touch going 0-for-7 from beyond the arc. Maryville pulled away to a 36-20 halftime advantage after going 9-for-10 at the charity stripe while hitting 31% of their shots. Moutreboundedbounded the Panthers 26-21 at the break.
MC closed the challenge with a torrid offensive attack in the second period that featured a 58% effort from the floor (18-of-31) including a 7-for-13 success rate from downtown.
LaGrange (13-12, 8-8 USA South) was led by Travis Thompson's 16 points. Alex Bonner added a dozen points for the Panthers.
Maryville (19-6, 14-2 USA South) was paced by Dante Hoppa's game-high 18 points. Hoppa hit 6-of-9 shots while depositing 2-of-3 treys. Calvin Songster went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc for 15 points while Emier Bowman added 10 points and six rebounds. Malcolm Walker was strong off the bench with a game-high eight rebounds. Kaleb Estes and Chris Watson each pulled down seven boards.
"It was a nice team effort today," stated MC Head Coach Randy Lambert. "We are much better when we get production from our bench and I though our bench did a great job in both halves."
Maryville will be the No. 1 seed in the USA South tournament beginning next Tuesday. The Scots will host LaGrange College at 7:00 p.m. for first-round tournament action.