Grace’s NAIA run ends in quarterfinals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The memorable postseason run for Grace’s men’s basketball team came to a close on Wednesday.
The Lancers fell to third-seeded Georgetown in the NAIA quarterfinals by the score of 92-85 at Municipal Auditorium.
Grace ends its remarkable season with a 31-4 record, winning the Crossroads League regular season and postseason tournament. The loss snaps a 13-game winning streak for the Lancers.
Wednesday’s game saw Grace win several statistical categories, including shooting percentage, free throw attempts and rebounding, among others. But the Lancers lost the turnover battle by nine and gave up a season-high 92 points in the defeat.
Grace began the game with four straight points, including baskets from Carter Stoltzfus and Cade Gibbs.
The Lancers stretched their early advantage to 10-4 as Grace used its size to punish the Tigers in the paint.
The Tigers struggled to find offense in the early going against the Lancers’ defense. Georgetown made just 2 of 12 from the floor over the first six minutes.
Eight minutes into the contest, the Lancers led 15-7 after consecutive paint finishes from Cade Gibbs and Jake Wadding.
Wadding then made a highlight play with 10 minutes to go, grabbing a rebound, racing down the court, juking a defender with a eurostep and finishing with a finger roll.
The lead grew to 13 as Grace continued to find success attacking the rim.
Georgetown did its best to keep pace with Grace, but the Lancers turned to their perimeter shooting to keep separation. Frankie Davidson, Jakob Gibbs and Cade Gibbs hit a trio of 3-pointers in a three-minute span.
The Tigers countered with three triples of their own, quickly slashing Grace’s lead down to four at 38-34.
Georgetown was just getting warmed up, rattling off 11 more points over the final two minutes.
Georgetown roared to life with a 17-3 run over the final 2:38 of the half to steal momentum in the contest. The Tigers stunned Grace by taking a 45-43 lead at halftime.
The Tigers shot 50 percent from the floor, including a 6-of-11 performance (55 percent) on 3-pointers. Grace shot 47 percent from the floor.
The Lancers lost the turnover battle 7-3 but won on the glass with a 21-15 rebounding edge.
Cade Gibbs (13 points) and Jakob Gibbs (9 points) paced Grace’s attack.
Georgetown did well to keep Grace at bay in the second half. The Tigers pushed their lead to eight as the Tigers’ midrange game proved hard to slow.
But the Lancers remained within striking distance; Davidson scored six points in less than two minutes, but Grace still trailed by four.
Georgetown was in a rhythm, however, that could not be slowed. The Tigers continued to score at will, opening up a 71-61 lead with 10 minutes left on the clock.
With six minutes to play, the Lancers nearly manufactured a comeback for the ages. Grace trailed by 12 but consistently earned its way to the free throw line.
The Lancers made seven free throws to cut the lead to five with 2:19 to play. An and-1 from Wadding brought Grace to within four at 84-80 with 1:42 on the clock.
Grace then stole the ball on the next possession and was poised to strike on a fastbreak, but a turnover stunted Grace’s momentum — a consistent theme on the night for Grace.
The Tigers slammed the door shut on Grace’s chances by making six straight free throws down the stretch.
Grace put six players in double-digit scoring. Cade Gibbs had 15 points and four rebounds, and Malone tallied 15 points and eight rebounds.
Jakob Gibbs tallied 13 points and three boards, and Davidson scored 11 points.
Off the bench, Ian Scott tallied 12 points and two boards, and Wadding had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Brycen Graber chipped in five points with two assists, Stoltzfus had two points and four assists, and Brett Sickafoose scored two points off the bench.