Maddie Ryman on the fastbreak during Grace's win at St. Francis Tuesday
Maddie Ryman on the fastbreak during Grace's win at St. Francis Tuesday
FORT WAYNE – Grace’s women’s basketball secured a dramatic 68-62 win over St. Francis in the quarterfinals of the Crossroads League Tournament on Tuesday evening.

The Lady Lancers will advance to the semifinals of the tournament and will play No. 12 Indiana Wesleyan on Friday for a spot in the championship game.

The Lady Lancers (19-12, 8-10 CL) are in pursuit of their first NAIA tournament appearance in team history. Grace can earn an automatic bid by winning the CL Tournament or by reaching the championship game if top-seeded Marian also reaches the title game.

Maddie Ryman scored 21 second-half points to lead Grace to the upset win over the third-seeded Cougars (17-9, 11-5 CL).

Kaylee Patton got Grace on the scoreboard first, but the two squads would trade buckets to start the first quarter.

Maddie Ryman scored on consecutive possessions to push the Lady Lancers ahead 13-11 seven minutes into the quarter. The Cougars responded with a 6-0 run to give them a four-point lead.

Peyton Murphy scored on an old-fashioned 3-point play, and Karlee Feldman converted inside late, but USF held a one-point lead at the quarter’s end.

Kiersten Poor and Kensie Ryman hit consecutive 3-point shots to start the second quarter which vaulted Grace into the lead.

Kenzie McMahon also made a shot, and Kensie Ryman converted from beyond the arc again to fuel an 11-0 run for Grace.

The Lady Lancers’ defense frustrated the Cougars, who were not able to convert a field goal until the 4:03 mark of the second quarter.

McMahon scored again to put Grace ahead 31-22 with 3:43 left in the half, but USF would find a response.

The Cougars ended the half well offensively and cut into Grace’s lead. The game entered the half with Grace ahead 31-27.

McMahon led Grace with eight points and six rebounds. Maddie Ryman had four points in limited minutes because of two early fouls.

The Lady Lancers shot 40 percent in the first half compared to the Cougars’ 33 percent.  Both teams hit three shots from behind the arc. Grace outrebounded USF 27-15.

Feldman and Maddie Ryman scored for Grace to start the second, but the Lady Lancers couldn’t distance themselves from the Cougars.

At the midpoint of the quarter USF used a pair of successful offensive trips to pull ahead 44-40.

Maddie Ryman scored four straight points to end the quarter as the teams entered the fourth deadlocked at 44.

The Cougars grabbed a four-point lead to start the quarter, but Grace remained undaunted.

Maddie Ryman and Feldman each converted from the line, and Peyton Murphy hit a 3-point shot to give Grace a 52-51 lead with six minutes left.

The Cougars maintained pace with Grace, but a Kiersten Poor 3-point shot late in the shot clock gave the Lady Lancers a five-point cushion with three minutes left.

After two successful free throws from Patton, Grace led 61-54. The Cougars tried to rally late, but Grace was clutch from the free throw line to seal the 68-62 victory and advance to the semifinals.

Maddie Ryman finished the game with 25 points, 21 of which came in the second half. She added five rebounds and was 14 of 14 from the free throw line. Feldman double-doubled with 11 points and 10 rebounds, tacking on 3 blocks, 2 steals and 2 assists.

McMahon had eight points and eight rebounds. Kensie Ryman, Murphy, Patton and Poor all finished with six points.

Grace shot 40 percent from the floor and 46 percent from 3-point land. Grace outrebounded USF 43-30. The Lady Lancers finished 20 of 24 from the free throw line.

Grace will travel to No. 2 seed Indiana Wesleyan for the semifinal round on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.