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Lady Lancers unable to finish off comeback vs IWU

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team came up agonizingly close to a memorable comeback against Indiana Wesleyan.

The Lady Lancers trailed by as many as 19 points on Tuesday, rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter and came up shy 68-64 by the final buzzer.

Brooke Sugg was a constant source of offense for the Lady Lancers (3-6, 0-1 Crossroads League), burying four triples for a team-high 18 points.

IWU could not have started the game better in the Crossroads League opener. The Wildcats (7-2, 1-0 CL) made six shots in the first seven minutes, holding Grace without a field goal to take a 14-1 lead.

Grace called two timeouts in the quarter to slow IWU’s momentum, but the Wildcats ended the period up 24-8.

In the second quarter, Grace found a spark from the outside. Sugg buried two triples, and Lauren Godfrey added another to cut IWU’s margin down to nine.

Grace’s defensive pressure helped shift momentum back to the Lady Lancers; IWU was held to seven second-quarter points while committing eight turnovers.

The Lady Lancers entered halftime behind 31-22 after shooting 30 percent from the floor. Sugg’s eight points in 12 minutes led Grace.

Grace’s surge continued into the third quarter. The Lady Lancers’ aggressive defense kept IWU off balance; the Wildcats were stifled into eight points in the third.

The Wildcats’ lead dwindled slowly but surely. Sugg’s deadly shooting and Grace’s smothering defense eventually erased IWU’s lead. Sugg scored the final five points of the quarter, including a late stepback 3-pointer to give Grace a 40-39 lead entering the final stanza.

Grace started the fourth quarter sizzling on offense, making seven of its first eight shots. But IWU was just as hot, making a trio of triples to climb ahead 60-57 with three minutes left.

The score remained close until the final buzzer. Grace had the ball with 19 seconds left and trailing by two points. But a costly turnover allowed IWU to make another free throw, and the Lady Lancers misfired on a potential game-tying 3-pointer.

Sugg was 4-of-8 from beyond the arc for 18 points, adding three assists and two steals. Vironnica Drake added 10 points, 4 assists and 4 steals, and Godfrey had 11 points with a trio of 3-pointers.

Kyannah Stull scored eight points with five rebounds, Pam Miller added seven points and five boards, and Rachel Montgomery tallied six points and four rebounds.

As a team, Grace shot 41 percent compared to 44 percent for IWU.

The Lady Lancers continue league play on Nov. 28, playing at Mt. Vernon Nazarene.