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Grace misses on upset of No. 18 RedHawks

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team led nearly the entire second half against No. 18 IU Northwest on Saturday.

Games are won in the final minutes, however, and the RedHawks made enough winning plays to secure a narrow 79-75 win.

Saturday’s game at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center wrapped up the Carol Forbes Classic, Grace’s tournament which helped raise funds for cancer care in the community. 

The first quarter was frenetic and at times sloppy. Both teams were aggressive defensively, resulting in a combined 14 turnovers.

Grace found its footing toward the end of the quarter. Lauren Godfrey and Myriah Hoffman scored on back-to-back possessions, but the RedHawks (4-4) still led 15-13 at the break.

The Lady Lancers (3-5) continued their momentum into the second quarter. Grace scored the first eight points of the period thanks to consecutive 3-pointers by Kyannah Stull and Hoffman, jumping ahead by six.

The RedHawks battled back to regain a 28-27 lead, but the Lady Lancers ended the half on a sizzling 10-2 run. Rachel Montgomery scored five points over the last 3:14 to help Grace own a 37-30 halftime advantage.

Both teams shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half. Stull’s eight points and Hoffman’s seven points led the hosts.

Grace gradually built its cushion up to 13 in the third quarter. Godfrey hit a pair of triples to give Grace a boost, but the RedHawks refused to fade and only trailed 59-54 entering the last quarter.

The Lady Lancers continued to hold a slight lead until the final, fateful minute. IU Northwest buried a desperation 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to take a 73-72 lead with 34 seconds remaining.

Grace came up empty on its next two possessions, allowing the RedHawks to get to the free throw line and sneak away with the victory.

Godfrey enjoyed a career night with a personal-best 17 points. She hit a career-high five 3-pointers and added two assists.

Stull was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc for 14 points, and Vironnica Drake tallied 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

Kaylie Warble produced 5 points, team-high 7 rebounds and 2 assists, Kelsie Peterson scored eight points, and Hoffman added seven points and two assists.

The Lady Lancers remain at home Tuesday for the start of the Crossroads League season. Grace will face Indiana Wesleyan at 6 p.m. as the opener to a women’s/men’s doubleheader at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.