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Lady Lancers fade late at No. 15 IWU

MARION, Ind. – For three quarters of action on Tuesday, Grace’s women’s basketball team and No. 15 Indiana Wesleyan could scarcely be separated.

But the host Wildcats (6-4, 1-0 Crossroads League) pulled away midway through the fourth quarter en route to a 79-67 win.

Tuesday’s game was the Crossroads League opener for both squads. Kamryn Hostetler led all players in scoring during her conference debut, netting 19 points with a trio of 3-pointers.

Grace’s defense gave the Wildcats fits throughout the evening. The Lady Lancers (5-5, 0-1 CL) nabbed 16 steals, forcing IWU into 26 turnovers.

The first quarter was evenly played with IWU holding a slight 16-11 lead after 10 minutes.

The Wildcats opened the second quarter on a 9-1 run, however, to earn a 13-point edge with 7:15 to play in the half. But the Lady Lancers battled back quickly.

Grace ended the half on a furious 22-9 run. Kaylie Warble converted an and-1, and Brooke Treadway scored the final basket of the half to even the score 34-34 at halftime.

Hostetler scored the first points of the third quarter to give Grace its first lead. A few minutes later she scored again off a turnover to put the Lady Lancers ahead 41-36, the team’s largest lead of the game.

The Wildcats proceeded to rip off nine points over the next two minutes, however, to grab the lead. IWU held a slight 52-48 edge at the end of the third quarter.

Grace kept IWU within striking distance and only trailed 59-54 with 7:10 left in regulation.

But the Wildcats essentially sealed the game over the next three minutes. IWU ripped off 11 straight points to claim a 16-point lead. Grace was unable to produce a meaningful rally over the last four minutes.

Grace struggled to find its shooting touch all night. The Lady Lancers made 37 percent overall from the floor, including just 5-of-29 (17 percent) from beyond the arc. Grace also shot just 10-of-16 (63 percent) from the foul line.

Brooke Sugg scored 17 points to go along with three assists, and Warble added 11 points, 7 boards and 5 steals.

Vironnica Drake had a balanced scoreline with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals, and Lexi Minix added 2 points, 2 assists and 4 boards.

The Lady Lancers return home for a pair of games next week, including Spring Arbor on Nov. 28 and Bethel on Dec. 1.