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WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Leading from start to finish, the Indiana University South Bend women’s basketball team defeated Grace College 58-53 on Wednesday night to begin their 2017-18 campaign. The Lancers threatened down the stretch but the Titans were able to hold off the surge and move to 1-0 on the year.

Vicki Guard led the Titans with 15 points while Loren Vukovits (JR/ North Liberty, Indiana) added 14 and Paige Avery (SR/Mishawaka, Indiana) chipped in with 11 in the win.

IU South Bend’s defense held the Lancers to 10 points in the first quarter, five of which came within the final two minutes. Kylie Fehrman (FR/Griffith, Indiana) scored off her own offensive rebound to put the Titans ahead by 12, their largest lead of the quarter.

Grace started to close the gap in the second quarter as they started the frame on a 6-2 run to get within three points of the Titan lead. IU South Bend answered with a 10-2 run capped off by a triple from Kyleigh Kubik (SO/LaPorte, Indiana) to put the Titans in front 29-18.

The Titans were able to maintain their lead throughout the third quarter but things got tight in the final frame as the Lancers made it a one possession game with just over two minutes to play. A 5-0 run by Grace evened the game at 53 with 51 seconds on the clock. IU South Bend converted on five of six free throws in the final 22 seconds to seal their first win of the year.

IU South Bend dominated the glass, outrebounding the Lancers 38-22. The Titans finished the game 10-of-12 from the free throw line in the win.

Next up for the Titans is Indiana University Kokomo on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 1:00 p.m.