SPRING ARBOR, Mich. - Grace’s men’s basketball team impressed on the road on Tuesday, routing Spring Arbor 84-62.

The Lancers (22-7, 11-6 Crossroads League) registered their third consecutive win as the regular season nears its conclusion.

Grace’s final game of the regular season is at home on Saturday against Huntington at 3 p.m. The game will also be Senior Day.

Grace currently sits alone in fourth place in the league standings, one game behind St. Francis for third place and one game ahead of Mt. Vernon Nazarene for fifth place.

The teams began the game by exchanging 3-pointers. Grace struggled to find its shooting touch in the opening minutes, and the Cougars took advantage to edge ahead 16-11.

Grace exploded to life with 13 unanswered points; a triple from Brycen Graber put the Lancers on top 18-16.

The rest of the run came from points in the paint with buckets from Cade Gibbs, Jake Wadding and Ian Scott. Scott was heavily involved during Grace’s run, scoring multiple shots in the paint, rebounding and blocking a shot attempt.

Grace led 24-16 by the end of its surge, but the Lancers remained aggressive. Scott converted an and-1 to hand the Lancers a double-digit lead at 30-19.

The Gibbs twins (Cade and Jakob) combined to score nine quick points over a two-minute span, pushing Grace’s lead to 13. Jakob Gibbs made a free throw in the final second of the half as Grace rolled into the intermission with a 46-30 lead.

Scott led all players with 11 points in 11 minutes, and Jakob Gibbs scored 10.

Grace shot 55 percent from the floor and 50 percent on 3-pointers, while the Cougars (7-22, 1-16 CL) shot 36 percent overall and 31 percent on 3s.

The Lancers flexed their muscles to begin the second half, attacking the rim with great success. Grace scored 10 point paints in the first four minutes, extending the lead to 24 after a score by Frankie Davidson.

The Cougars could not muster a rally in the second half. The Lancers led by at least 20 points for the final 17:57 of regulation.

Grace’s defense proved to be tenacious, limiting SAU to 37 percent shooting and 29 percent on 3-pointers for the game.

The Lancers were opportunistic as well, turning SAU’s 15 turnovers into 20 points. Grace turned the ball over 14 times, but the Cougars only scored four off those miscues.

Grace shot better from the floor (49 percent) than they did from the free throw line (48 percent).

The Lancers were led in scoring by Scott, who turned in a superb 16-point, 12-rebound, 4-block and 3-assist performance.

Cade Gibbs finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, and Wadding and Jakob Gibbs each scored 10.

Graber tallied eight points and four assists, and Elijah Malone had eight points and six boards.



Grace Track Lands In Top 20 Of NAIA Indoor Rankings

WINONA LAKE - Heading into the Crossroads League Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend, a talented group of Grace middle distance runners are quickly making a name for themselves throughout the NAIA. Both the men and the women rank among the top event squads in the NAIA in three events according to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) rankings released today.

Event squad rankings take into account the top four performers from each school in a particular event.

In the overall team rankings, the Lancer men remain ranked No. 4 in the NAIA by the USTFCCCA, while the women moved up to the No. 20 spot this week. This is the first time that both the men and women have been listed in the top 20.

The Grace men appear as the top 800 meter event squad in the NAIA, with four individuals hitting the NAIA qualifying standard. Kyle Smith leads the way with a school-record time of 1:52.40. The men also rank second in the mile and third in the 1,000 meters. Dimitri Margaritidis has posted a time of 4:13.79 in the Mile, where the Lancers also have four NAIA qualifiers. Logan Rufenacht tops the team's 1,000 performances with a time of 1:30.99

The women's team ranks fifth in the 800 meters event squad list, led by national qualifier Kylie Sauder, who ran 2:17.38 last weekend. The Lancers also make the the 3,000 meter and 1,000 meter event squad lists, ranking seventh and 10th, respectively. Sauder's school record of 10:24.61 leads the Lancers in the 3,000, with Heather Plastow pacing the team in the 1,000 with her own school record performance of 3:01.74.

In addition to the individual successes, Grace ranks in the top 10 of the NAIA in the 4x800 and Distance Medley Relays on both the men's and women's side.

A total of 18 Lancer athletes have combined to produce 26 NAIA qualifying performances so far this indoor season.

The Crossroads League Championships are hosted by Taylor University this weekend, February 18-19.