WINONA LAKE, Ind. - The undefeated season continued for No. 2 Grace’s men’s basketball team on Tuesday.
The Lancers finished off an 89-70 victory over St. Xavier at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
Grace enjoyed balanced production with seven players scoring at least eight points. Elijah Malone powered his way to 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Lancers (6-0).
The Lancers wasted little time building their lead to begin Tuesday’s game. Grace made its first three shots to lead 7-2.
Back-to-back scores from Jakob Gibbs opened up a 13-4 lead. Two more quick scores handed Grace a 17-4 advantage.
The Lancers’ onslaught continued. Brett Sickafoose buried two 3s in a 3-minute span, and Ian Raasch hit another trey as Grace sprinted ahead 28-6 with 8:26 left in the half.
Grace remained comfortably ahead for the rest of the half, cruising into halftime with a 43-25 lead. The Lancers shot 59 percent from the floor as a team while holding the Cougars to 34 percent shooting.
Eight players scored for Grace in the half. Malone led the way with nine points, and Ian Scott provided a boost off the bench with four points and four assists.
The Lancers had more paint points (28) in the half than SXU had overall points (25).
Malone began the second half on a tear. The sensational senior poured in 11 points over the first 2:37, helping push Grace’s cushion up to 25.
The Lancers led by as many as 26 in the half, but the Cougars had one more push left with 10 minutes left in the game. SXU went on a 12-1 run which sliced Grace’s lead down to 10 with 7:32 on the clock.
Grace quickly responded by scoring on its next six possessions. Malone hit a shot to begin the run, and Jake Wadding followed that up with a corner 3-pointer.
Cade Gibbs and Jakob Gibbs then scored, and Malone capped off Grace’s response with a thunderous dunk.
SXU, on the other hand, was held to four points over that six-minute span.
The Lancers gradually pulled away down the stretch for the final 19-point win.
Grace shot a sizzling 59 percent from the floor, assisting on 27 of its 34 made field goals. The Cougars shot 45 percent as a team.
Malone shot 10 of 15 overall, including 7 of 7 from the foul line, for his game-high 28 points.
Cade Gibbs racked up 9 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, 1 block and 0 turnover, and Jakob Gibbs had 12 points and three boards.
Wadding tallied 9 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and 1 block, and Scott tallied nine points and five assists.
Raasch made all three of his shots for nine points, and Sickafoose tallied eight points.
Gage Sefton had five points and four assists, and Brycen Graber handed out four assists.
The Lancers will open up Crossroads League play over the next few weeks. Grace will travel to Indianapolis for a 2 p.m. clash at Marian.
Lady Lancers Bounce Back With Win Over Cougars
WINONA LAKE, Ind. - Grace College’s women’s basketball team overcame a slow start on the way to a 72-65 victory over St. Xavier on Tuesday night.
The Lancers (3-0) were led by another breakout performance from Morganne Houk. The freshman tied a career high with 18 points in the seven point victory.
The Lancers got off to a sluggish start in the first quarter and found themselves down 23-12 with two-minutes left in the opening stanza.
Grace ended the quarter on a 9-0 run, capped off by a bucket from Bekah Marshall to pull within two at the quarter break.
The Lancers and Cougars traded scores to start the second quarter and with 5:25 left in the half, the game was tied at 27 apiece.
Grace recaptured the lead at 29-27 after a Kaylee Patton converted on a second-chance opportunity.
The Lancers’ lead reached as many as seven points following a trifecta from Marshall pushed the Grace advantage to 34-27. The score capped off a 24-4 run for Grace.
St. Xavier pulled back with three points but a late score from Molly Long had Lancers leading 43-38 at the half.
Grace shot 48.5 percent in the opening half compared to 44.4 from St. Xavier. The Lancers turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, four more times than the Cougars.
St. Xavier scored the first basket of the second half but a 3-point shot from Houk, sandwiched by scores from Maddie Ryman and Patton saw Grace’s lead grow to 10 points.
The Lancers’ defense held the Cougars to just 25 percent shooting in the quarter as the lead hovered around double digits for the entirety of the frame.
The final quarter started with two 3-point baskets from Ryman and an old-fashioned 3-point play from Houk saw Grace’s lead balloon to 19 points.
Despite trailing by nearly 20 points with 6:55 left, the Cougars didn’t roll over and slowly started to claw their way back.
St. Xavier cut the deficit down to single digits late in the quarter, but was unable to get any closer as Grace closed the door on the 72-65 victory.
“So pumped about how these ladies respond tonight, " said Grace head coach Dan Davis. “After a tough weekend it was good to see them improve on the things that we emphasized and start to find their groove on both ends of the floor.”
Houk led all players with her 18 points and also added 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Ryman double-doubled with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Patton also doubled with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Marshall had 13 points.
The Lancers shot 48 percent while the Cougars struggled from the field to a tune of 36 percent. The Lancers turned the ball over 29 times, 12 times in the fourth quarter.
Grace will open Crossroads League play on Saturday at Marian.