Grace kicks off year with rout
WYOMING, Mich. – Grace’s women’s basketball team impressed in the season opener on Monday, besting Grace Christian University (Mich.) 87-60.
The Lady Lancers (1-0) employed their trademarked defensive pressure to great success, forcing the Tigers into 39 turnovers.
Kaylie Warble enjoyed a career-high 20 points to start her senior season. The center shot 6-of-7 from the floor and 8-of-12 from the foul line.
Grace stunned the Tigers early, opening up a 9-2 lead including a 3-pointer from Kyannah Stull on the team’s first possession.
But the Tigers recovered to take a 14-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Stull began the second quarter with a bucket to put Grace on top 15-14, and the Lady Lancers never trailed again.
Warble took over at that point, scoring nine points in a three-minute span to give Grace breathing room.
A triple by Kamryn Hostetler put the Lady Lancers ahead by 11 with 2:38 left in the half. The Tigers ended the second quarter with five straight points, however, pulling to within 37-31 by halftime.
Grace only shot 32 percent from the floor, including 4-of-20 (20 percent) from beyond the arc. But the Lady Lancers forced the Tigers into 22 first-half turnovers.
Warble continued her strong play, scoring six of Grace’s first seven points in the third quarter. Kaylee Patton also sparked off the bench, helping the Lady Lancers to a 10-point edge with a midrange jump shot.
The final minutes of the third quarter saw a steady diet of freshman Kate Rulli. Rulli poured in 10 points over the final 3:30 of the quarter as Grace earned a 15-point lead.
To start the fourth quarter, Warble and Hostetler combined for quick nine points. Within three minutes, Grace led by 20.
Kiara Gill made a late splash in her collegiate debut. The freshman guard ripped off seven points in a two-minute span to highlight her first game.
Grace coasted and used its bench liberally for the final 27-point margin of victory.
Rulli scored 14 of her 16 points after halftime and did not miss a shot in the second half. She shot 6-of-7 overall for the game and made all four of her foul shots.
Stull tallied 13 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals, and Hostetler added 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Kiersten Poor and Kenzie McMahon each earned a start in their collegiate debuts and produced similar stat lines. Poor had 7 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, and McMahon had 7 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.
Patton finished with five points and five rebounds in her first game for Grace, and Sarah O’Day (2 points, 2 rebounds) and Carissa Wiegman (6 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal) also made their Lady Lancer debuts.
Grace made 50 percent of its field goals after halftime and 40 percent for the game.
“It’s been a long wait to get back out on the court again and compete. I’m thankful for the chance to be able to play again and see our ladies represent Grace,” said Grace head coach Dan Davis. “I was pleased with how hard we played. We had 10 girls score, and I think we showed our balance offensively and our depth. I look forward to getting back on the court for practice, and we’ll look to improve for Wednesday’s game.”
The Lady Lancers open the year with a four-game road trip, including two more road games this week. Grace will play at Concordia on Wednesday and at Judson on Friday.