Lady Lancers rally for win over Cougars
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – “It was the tale of two halves tonight” as Grace head coach Dan Davis noted after Friday night’s game.
Grace’s women’s basketball team recovered from a lackluster first half, rallying for a 69-56 win over IU Kokomo.
The Lady Lancers came back from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter. Grace outscored the Cougars (3-4) by 19 points after halftime to stun IU Kokomo.
Maddie Ryman played a starring role in Grace’s comeback. The sophomore scored 17 of her 22 points in the second half, burying six 3-pointers in the victory in an impressive performance.
Grace won the game despite shooting just 39 percent from the floor as a team. The Lady Lancers forced IU Kokomo into 26 turnovers, however, scoring 17 points off those miscues.
“This was the best win of the season for us. We stunk in the first half and got down 11 in the third quarter. But we found a way to fight back and win,” Davis said. “Credit to the whole team for closing out the game in the fourth quarter. We have to be better in conference play and not be lifeless for a whole half. But it was good to grind out a solid win like that tonight.”
Offense was hard to come by for the Lady Lancers (5-5) in the first half. Grace only scored 25 points before halftime, partly due to shooting 3 of 14 (21 percent) on 3-pointers.
IU Kokomo scored the first points of the contest and led for the entire half. Grace did not allow the lead to grow to more than eight, keeping the Cougars in range.
The Lady Lancers only made one field goal for the final 5:56 of the first half, which was a late bucket from Kaylee Patton. Grace entered halftime facing a 31-25 deficit.
The Cougars scored nine second-chance points in the half. Grace forced IU Kokomo into 14 turnovers before halftime, but the Lady Lancers also lost the ball 11 times.
Four minutes into the third quarter, Grace faced its largest deficit of the game at 43-32. But the Lady Lancers were about to explode.
Ryman caught fire, burying a trio of 3-pointers over the final four minutes of the third quarter. Kyannah Stull also hit a triple as Grace surged ahead with a 17-4 run.
The Cougars managed to score in the final second of the third quarter to tie the score at 49-49, but it was clear that momentum had shifted.
Grace’s defense kept the Cougars back on their heels the entire second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. IU Kokomo only made two field goals in the fourth quarter as Grace seized control.
Kenzie McMahon sank two foul shots to start the fourth quarter, and Grace never surrendered the lead.
Ryman scored the next eight points for Grace, increasing the Lady Lancers’ lead to six. Kamryn Hostetler followed that up with a 3-pointer.
Grace was poised down the stretch, forcing the Cougars into fouling. The Lady Lancers hit seven free throws over the final 3:01 to pull away for the final 13-point margin of victory.
For the fourth quarter, Grace outscored IU Kokomo 20-7. The Lady Lancers only turned the ball over four times after halftime.
Ryman’s 22 points came on 8-of-12 shooting, including a 6-of-9 performance from beyond the arc.
Stull tallied 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals, and Hostetler notched 10 points, 6 assists and just 1 turnover.
Patton amassed 8 points, 4 boards, 2 steals and 1 block off the bench, McMahon scored six, and Kiersten Poor had 5 points, 9 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals.
The Lady Lancers will play once during Christmas week, traveling to Governors State (Ill.) for a Monday afternoon matchup.