Lancers end regular season with win
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s men’s basketball team earned its fourth straight victory to end the regular season, beating Huntington 93-86 on Saturday.
The win proved critical as Grace wrapped up the No. 5 seed in the league standings. Grace will travel to St. Francis on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Crossroads League Tournament.
The Lancers (17-10, 8-8 CL) were particularly efficient on offense during the second half. Grace shot 63 percent from the field after halftime, scoring 56 points to pull away from the Foresters (16-10, 7-9 CL).
Frankie Davidson impressed in the win, producing 23 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists, and Haden Deaton had 19 points, 4 assists and 4 boards on his Senior Day. Deaton, Cody Holmes and Matt Jennings were honored before the game for Senior Day.
Elijah Malone was a dominant presence for Grace to start the game. The freshman began the game with a thunderous one-handed slam and had another jam a few minutes later. Malone tallied six points in the first five minutes.
In comparison, Huntington found its offense from beyond the arc. The Foresters buried four 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes of the game, opening up a 24-18 lead.
Grace countered with a 10-2 run, which included four points from Malone. The score remained close until Huntington, but a late triple from Huntington gave the guests a 39-37 edge at halftime.
Malone’s 12 points paced the team, and Deaton added 10. Grace and Huntington both shot 44 percent from the field, but the Lancers made just 5 of 10 from the foul line in the half.
The Foresters held to their lead for the first six minutes of the second half, building their cushion up to seven in the early minutes.
Grace changed the complexion of the game, however, with a 14-2 charge. Jennings tied the score with an and-1, and a pair of quick triples by Deaton put the Lancers ahead 63-55 with 12 minutes remaining.
Two minutes later, another 3-pointer from Deaton gave Grace an 11-point advantage, its largest of the contest.
With 2:09 on the clock, Eddie Gill IV sank two foul shots to put Grace on top 87-76.
Huntington was not prepared to lose without a fight. The Foresters patiently ate into Grace’s lead, eventually trailing by just three at 89-86 with 21 seconds remaining. But Davidson sealed the win, swishing four free throws over the final seconds for the final seven-point margin of victory.
Grace made 53 percent of its field goals compared to 49 percent for Huntington. Grace had a dominant advantage in rebounds, grabbing 19 more boards than the Foresters.
Jake Wadding finished with 16 points, 5 assists, 4 boards and 2 steals, and Malone added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Jakob Gibbs amassed 12 points, 5 boards and 3 assists, Gill chipped in 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Jennings added 3 points, 4 assists and 4 boards.