Grace muscles by Red Storm
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s men’s basketball team handled Rio Grande on Wednesday, winning 78-64 in a balanced team effort.
The Lancers had four players who scored in double figures, led by Haden Deaton’s 20-point, 6-board and 5-assist performance.
Grace got off to a fast start. The Lancers poured in 11 points before four minutes had expired, forcing the Red Storm (4-3) to burn an early timeout.
The break seemed to steady the Red Storm, who slowly chipped away at Grace’s lead. Rio went on a 13-2 run to snag the lead at 21-20.
That proved to be Rio’s only lead of the game, however.
Grace responded by scoring the next 13 points unanswered. Matt Jennings scored five points during the run, and Jake Wadding added four more.
The Lancers (5-2) maintained their cushion into halftime, ending the period on a 6-0 spurt to claim a 44-29 lead at halftime.
Deaton, who scored 13 points in the half, ended the first half by muscling in an and-1. Wadding also scored 11 points in the half without missing a shot (5 for 5 field goals).
The Lancers shot 62 percent for the half, thanks in large part to scoring 26 points in the paint. Grace did commit 10 first-half turnovers.
The Red Storm were muted to shoot 36 percent from the floor and 20 percent from beyond the arc.
Cade Gibbs gave Grace a spark with three quick points to start the second half, including a steal and fastbreak layup.
Rio did its best to rally in the second half, but each time Grace was composed and provided an answer.
The Red Storm made their hardest push midway into the second half. Rio made a 15-3 run to cut Grace’s lead down 54-48 with under 12 minutes remaining.
But just as Grace did in the first half, the Lancers handled the pressure. Deaton scored four straight points, helping Grace quickly reestablish a double-digit cushion.
The Lancers eventually pulled ahead by 18 and coasted during the final few minutes of regulation.
For the game Grace shot 57 percent from the floor compared to 41 percent for Rio. The Lancers shot 60 percent from the 3-point line (9 of 15) and 60 percent from the foul line (9 of 15).
The Lancers held a dominant plus-15 advantage in rebounds, making amends for 17 turnovers the team committed.
Wadding finished with 13 points and five boards, and Cade Gibbs had 11 points and five rebounds.
Jakob Gibbs scored all 12 of his points in the second half, shooting 4 of 5 overall and 2 of 2 on 3-pointers.
Frankie Davidson had 5 points, 8 boards, 2 assists, 1 block and 1 steal, Myles Johnson scored six, and Jennings finished with seven points and three dimes.
Next up, the Lancers will travel to archrival Bethel on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tipoff.