Grace College senior Jared Treadway gets a clear shot off during Tuesday night's game against Crossroads League opponent Mount Vernon. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Grace College senior Jared Treadway gets a clear shot off during Tuesday night's game against Crossroads League opponent Mount Vernon. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
WINONA LAKE – Between Al Rhodes and Jim Kessler, Matt Moore has served as an assistant to some pretty successful basketball coaches.
Now in his fifth season as the head coach at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Moore used a fundamental Rhodes preaches to beat Kessler’s Grace College Lancers 75-65 Tuesday night.
“I’m an Al Rhodes clone,” said Moore, who was Rhodes’ assistant when the former Warsaw coach headed up the program at Logansport High School. “Coach Rhodes preaches the team that gets the ball in the basket area the most is going to win. That’s what we did tonight.”
The Cougars, fighting for the final berth in the Crossroads League Tournament, outscored the host Lancers 46-20 in the paint.
Mount Vernon shot better from the field, better at the free throw line and outrebounded the Lancers 32-23.
On senior night for Grace’s Greg Miller, Jared Treadway and Morgan Michalski, the Cougars stole the show at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
“They outplayed us and just beat us,” said Kessler. “It wasn’t just one thing. They flat out beat us. They outscored us 46-20 in the paint, outrebounded us, made their free throws. That’s the game right there. That’s all you need to know.”
Moore, who played for Kessler at Grace and then served as his assistant and helped lead the Lancers to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in the NAIA DII National Tournament, saw his team shoot 32 of 56 from the field overall and 10 of 14 at the free throw line.
The Cougars were 31 of 46 inside the arc.
“We got the ball inside, that was key,” said Moore, whose brother Scott is an assistant at Grace and whose brother Marcus is an assistant at Huntington North High School for Rob Irwin, father of Lancers point guard Logan Irwin.
The connections between Moore and Grace are many, and Tuesday night he got his first coaching win against Kessler.
The Cougars joined the Crossroads League three years ago. Prior to Tuesday they were 0-5 against Grace.
“There’s no chumps in this league,” said Kessler, whose team fell to 16-12 overall and 8-9 in league play, while the Cougars improved to 7-21 and 4-13.
“Mount Vernon is fighting to get in the playoffs,” added Kessler. “They came out and played hard. We didn’t match them.”
The top eight teams in the 10-team Crossroads League will play in the conference tournament, which begins Feb. 26.
Indiana Wesleyan wrapped up the regular-season title Tuesday night. Indiana Wesleyan is 14-3 with one game remaining.
Huntington, Marian and St. Francis are all 12-5, while Bethel is 11-6 and Grace is 8-9.
Taylor and Spring Arbor are 5-12, followed by Mount Vernon (4-13) and Goshen (2-15).
Regardless of the outcome of their regular season finale at Bethel Saturday, the Lancers will finish sixth in the league standings.
In the loss to Mount Vernon, Grace was just 23 of 54 from the field overall, 10 of 26 from the arc, and 9 of 18 at the charity stripe.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well,” said Kessler. “That’s not the kind of team we want to be, shooting 26 threes. We played tonight they way we practiced yesterday.”
Irwin led the Lancers with 18 points, while Niko Read added 14, 11 of which he scored in the first half.
Grace’s three seniors combined to scored 18 points.
Miller, the team’s leading scorer (19 ppg) and rebounder (10 rpg), struggled and finished with nine points and five rebounds.
Michalski was 2 of 3 from three-point range for six points and Treadway was 1 of 2 from the field and added a free throw for three points.
The Cougars led 36-31 at halftime and never relinquished the lead in the second half.
Grace got as close as two points after the break.
“We did a good job sustaining in the second half,” said Moore. “Every time they made a run at us we were able to answer. That’s big for us.”
Martell Medley led Mount Vernon with 20 points, while Bryan Redic added 19 and Eric Roby and Caleb Williams scored 12 and 11 points, respetively.

MOUNT VERNON 75, GRACE COLLEGE 65
MV    36    39    –    75
GC    31    34    –    65
MV – Patrick Lucas 0-2 0-0 0, Martell Medley 9-13 2-3 20, Josh Ashwell 2-3 4-4 8, Eric Roby 5-9 2-2 12, Bryan Redic 9-12 1-1 19, Caleb Williams 5-9 1-1 11, Xavier Holland 0-1 0-3 0, Mark Lieberman 0-1 0-0 0, Julian Henderson 2-6 0-0 5. Totals 32-56 10-14 75.
Grace – Greg Miller 3-10 1-3 9, Jared Treadway 1-2 1-2 3, Logan Irwin 7-17 3-6 18, Morgan Michalski 2-3 0-0 6, Caleb Featherston 2-4 3-4 7, Drew Perrin 0-0 0-0 0, Niko Read 5-11 0-0 14, Brandon Vanderhegghen 1-3 0-0 3, Kyle Fillman 2-4 1-3 5. Totals 23-54 9-18 65.
Three-pointers – MV 1 (Henderson), Grace 10 (Read 4, Miller 2, Michalski 2, Irwin, Vanderhegghen); Rebounds – MV 32 (Williams 8), Grace 23 (Miller 5); Turnovers – MV 11, Grace 11; Fouls – MV 12, Grace 16; Fouled out – none; Records: MV 7-21 (4-13 CL), Grace 16-12 (8-9 CL)