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Grace wins fifth straight

CHICAGO — A midseason surge continued for Grace’s women’s basketball team with a 61-54 win over Roosevelt on Friday.

The Lady Lancers (8-7) upset Roosevelt, who was receiving votes in the latest NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, recording their fifth win in a row. Grace’s five-game winning streak is the team’s longest since starting 5-0 in the 2014-15 season.

Grace’s defense carried the day at Roosevelt. The Lady Lancers survived a 26-percent shooting performance thanks to a dramatic second-half comeback.

The first half was filled with offensive futility for Grace. The Lady Lancers were held to just 15 points in the first half, including a four-point second quarter.

Despite enduring its worst shooting half of the season, Grace only trailed 25-15 at halftime. The Lady Lancers shot 5-of-37 from the floor in the first half (14 percent), including 2-of-20 in the second quarter alone.

In the second half Grace’s shots began to fall, paving the way for a comeback. Grace scored the first eight points of the third quarter to quickly cut into Roosevelt’s lead.

Brooke Sugg poured in 11 points in the period to jumpstart Grace’s offense, but the Lakers (10-6) still led 42-38 entering the last quarter.

Grace’s momentum continued to start the fourth quarter. Kyannah Stull converted a layup, and Vironnica Drake sank two free throws to tie the game. Lauren Godfrey then buried a 3-pointer to put Grace ahead 45-42 with 6:36 to play.

The Lady Lancers clung to a slight lead into the final minute, holding a two-point edge with 1:00 to play. Drake was fouled with 47 seconds remaining and went 2-of-2 from the free throw stripe.

Roosevelt misfired on a 3-pointer, and Stull was sent to the foul line for two more free throws which iced the win.

Drake finished with 15 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals, and Sugg added 14 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals.

Kaylie Warble led all players and tied a season high with 14 rebounds to go along with seven points, and Stull and Kelsie Peterson each scored nine points.

Micaela Box grabbed six rebounds, and Lexi Minix chipped in 2 points, 5 boards and 3 assists.

The Lady Lancers have one game remaining in the calendar year, traveling to nationally ranked NCAA Div. II opponent Southern Indiana on Dec. 31.