Grace falls to IWU in top-10 clash
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s men’s basketball team tasted defeat for the first time in Crossroads League play this season.
The No. 7 Lancers (15-2, 4-1 CL) fell 77-63 to No. 9 Indiana Wesleyan (14-3, 5-0 CL) on Tuesday in front of a packed crowd at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
Grace suffered its worst-shooting night of the season, shooting 39 percent for the game. The team also made just 3 of 13 from beyond the arc (23 percent).
The Wildcats had a major edge in the turnover battle, as well, turning the ball over just six times compared to 17 turnovers by Grace.
Grace’s offense was sluggish in the first half. IWU’s attack, on the other hand, clicked at a high rate.
The Wildcats shot 50 percent from the floor before halftime, turning the ball over only twice. Grace shot 40 percent in comparison with eight turnovers.
The Lancers struggled from long range, making just 22 percent of their tries. Grace missed its first six triples.
IWU jumped out to a 16-6 lead after just five minutes, but the Lancers kept battling.
Jake Wadding and Carter Stoltzfus combined for 10 quick points, helping the Lancers pull within 22-20 with seven minutes remaining in the half.
But IWU ripped off nine straight points to open up a double-digit lead. The Wildcats went into halftime ahead 41-32.
Wadding and Frankie Davidson scored eight points apiece, accounting for half of Grace’s point total in the half.
The Wildcats grew their lead to 14 with 12 minutes remaining before the Lancers began to put together a rally.
Elijah Malone had an and-1, and Wadding followed up with another of his own a few minutes later. Wadding’s 3-point play slashed IWU’s lead down to 64-60 with 7:40 on the clock.
Unfortunately for Grace, the Lancers’ offense went ice cold for the rest of regulation. Grace only scored three more points over the final seven minutes.
The Lancers missed 10 of their final 11 field goals and had three turnovers to close out the game.
IWU took advantage to pull away, hitting five free throws in the final two minutes to secure the victory.
Davidson led Grace with 17 points, 13 boards and 4 assists, and Malone finished with 13 points, 6 boards and 3 blocked shots.
Wadding tallied 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Jakob Gibbs scored eight points.
Carter Soltzfus tallied six points in the first half, and Ian Scott grabbed eight rebounds off the bench.
The Lancers remain home on Saturday with a doubleheader against Taylor. The women begin at 1 p.m. with the men’s game to follow at 3 p.m.