Drake breaks career scoring record for Grace
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace women’s basketball team fell to No. 10 St. Francis 62-56 on Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Lancers (18-10, 9-7 Crossroads League) had a 32-26 lead at the half, but after the intermission were unable to hold the No. 10 Cougars at bay.
The highlight of the afternoon happened just minutes into the second quarter. Vironnica Drake scored to pass Juaneice Jackson (1,893 points) to become the all-time leading scorer in Grace women’s basketball history. The senior scored 15 points, giving her a career total of 1,898 points.
Grace jumped all over the 10th-ranked Cougars (22-5, 13-3 CL) early in the first quarter. The Lady Lancers started the game with a 7-0 run, and by the midway point of quarter had a 12-3 lead.
Brooke Treadway, who had just been implemented into the starting line-up, helped propel the Lady Lancers with a pair of baskets including a tough and-1.
Grace built its largest lead of the game at 20-6 after Hostetler and Stull made back-to-back 3-point baskets.
Grace’s defense was ferocious in the opening quarter. The Lady Lancers forced eight turnovers and capitalized with 16 points.
Grace only surrendered four made baskets in the opening 10 minutes and held a 22-10 lead.
The Cougars had fought within nine of Grace when Drake took her place in Lady Lancer lore.
Drake’s history making shot came in typical fashion as she drove the lane and made a heavily contested two-point lay-in.
The Lady Lancers maintained a double-digit lead until the midway point of the second quarter. USF began playing a more composed game and was able to slowly dig into Grace’s lead.
The Cougars scored the last eight points of the quarter and by halftime had pulled within 32-26.
At the half Drake led all players with 14 points, and she also nabbed four steals. Treadway had five points and five rebounds, and Stull chipped in six points off a pair of 3-point baskets.
Grace struggled from the floor shooting just over 39 percent, but their defense was a huge factor in the halftime lead, forcing 13 turnovers.
The second half was another positive start for the Lady Lancers. Lexi Minix made a 3-point shot, and Stull followed it up with a made basket in the paint to give Grace an eight-point cushion.
The Cougars answered the short burst from Grace with an explosion on offense. USF grabbed its first lead of the game at 39-37 as a part of a 20-2 run. Treadway was the lone Lady Lancer to score during the stretch.
Grace would only manage seven third quarter points, and the Cougars took a five-point lead into the final frame.
Grace tried to battle back in the fourth quarter but was unable to find the firepower. Maddie Ryman hit a 3-point shot in the corner that pulled Grace within four, but it was as close as the Lady Lancers would get.
USF finished the game off, handing Grace the 62-56 loss.
The Lady Lancers struggled to find any open looks in the second half, shooting just 26 percent from the floor. For the game Grace hit at a 32 percent rate.
Grace played a clean game, only turning the ball over nine times compared to 17 turnovers from USF.
Drake stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks.
Stull contributed 14 points and three assists, and Treadway had nine points and six rebounds.
Grace currently finds itself in a tie for fifth place in the conference with Huntington with just two games remaining.
Next week, Grace will play at Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before returning home Saturday to conclude the regular season against Mt. Vernon Nazarene.