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Late drought spoils Grace’s upset bid at No. 5 Marian

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team was on the verge of its biggest win of the season on Wednesday at No. 5 Marian.

But the Lady Lancers let a late lead slip away to the two-time defending NAIA champions and lost 69-60.

The fourth quarter was full of highs and lows for both teams. Grace fell behind by eight after the Knights (17-2, 6-1 Crossroads League) hit a 3-pointer to start the quarter.

The Lady Lancers (9-10, 3-4 CL) clawed back thanks to seven straight points, including four from Micaela Box, to slice Marian’s lead down to one.

Minutes later Lauren Godfrey buried a triple to put the Lady Lancers in front 51-50 with 4:32 remaining. Grace held onto a one-point lead with 3:30 left in the game.

But Grace experienced an untimely scoring drought over the next three minutes, which proved to be fatal. The Lady Lancers missed shots on their next four possessions, and Marian took advantage with a 3-pointer and a pair of and-1s to grab an eight-point lead with less than a minute to go. Grace was forced to foul, and the Knights hit five free throws in the final minute to win.

Grace nearly pulled off the upset despite shooting just 35 percent from the floor, including 26 percent from beyond the arc (6-of-23). The Lady Lancers did shoot well from the foul line, making all 12 of their attempts.

Vironnica Drake was 8-of-8 herself from the free throw line for a team-high 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Brooke Sugg hit a pair of 3s for 12 points to go along with three rebounds.

Myriah Hoffman tallied eight points and six rebounds, and Pam Miller and Lexi Minix each pulled down eight boards. Box scored nine points off the bench, and Godfrey added six points.

Grace was the better team in the first quarter, jumping out to an 18-12 lead on the road. But Marian outscored Grace by 10 in the second quarter to lead 31-27 at halftime. Sugg had all 12 of her points in the first half.

The Lady Lancers will look to bounce back on Saturday, hosting Spring Arbor at 1 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the men’s teams.