Lady Lancers fall in final seconds to MVNU
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – A last-second shot handed Grace’s women’s basketball team a 65-63 defeat to Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday.
The Cougars (7-8, 4-4 Crossroads League) hit the game-winning jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining, nullifying a strong team effort from Grace.
Kyannah Stull flourished with 25 points and four steals in defeat. The Lady Lancers (10-10, 1-9 CL) nabbed 17 steals and forced MVNU into 24 turnovers.
The Cougars started the game by making their first three shots, but Grace also forced MVNU into several early turnovers.
Grace started the quarter shooting poorly, but Stull provided a steady dose of offense. The senior scored 11 points in the quarter to go along with three steals.
Grace ended the quarter on a 5-0 spurt to grab a 20-18 lead.
But Grace began the second quarter sluggishly on offense again. The Lady Lancers missed their first seven shot attempts before Kate Rulli scored on a putback.
MVNU took advantage to grab an eight-point lead, going into halftime with a 37-32 advantage.
The Cougars shot 50 percent from the floor and 55 percent (6 of 11) from beyond the arc. The Lady Lancers, on the other hand, shot 35 percent from the field and 25 percent (2 of 8) from the 3-point line.
Grace’s aggressive defense forced MVNU into 13 turnovers, grabbing 12 steals in the process.
The Lady Lancers had their most efficient offensive quarter in the third period. Grace made a late push to charge ahead.
Stull scored five quick points in the final two minutes. Kamryn Hostetler followed that up with five unanswered points of her own as Grace led 52-48 entering the fourth quarter.
MVNU opened the fourth quarter with five points in the first minute to regain the lead.
Following the theme of the night, Grace missed its first five field goals of the fourth quarter. But Grace’s defense kept the game nearly deadlocked entering the final minutes.
Kaylie Warble scored four points in the span of a minute as Grace took a 61-58 lead with 2:31 on the clock. MVNU countered with a 3-pointer to level the score.
After each team turned the ball over, Stull converted an acrobatic, driving layup with 1:13 on the clock for a 63-61 lead.
But again MVNU had the answer with the game-tying basket on the next play. Grace misfired on a shot in the paint in the final 30 seconds, setting the stage for MVNU’s dramatic game winner.
For the game Grace shot 38 percent from the field compared to 51 percent for MVNU. The Cougars made 47 percent of their 3-pointers while Grace struggled to make 29 percent.
Hostetler scored 10 points with three steals and two assists, and Kenzie McMahon added 7 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
Kiersten Poor tallied 6 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals, Warble had four points and six boards, and Maddie Ryman chipped in five points.
Grace and MVNU will play again on Saturday in Ohio for a 1 p.m. tipoff.