No. 13 Knights locks down Lancers late
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s men’s basketball team dropped a 78-71 contest against No. 13 Marian on Wednesday night.
The game ended a streak of five straight games against NAIA ranked opponents for the Lancers (13-10, 6-8 Crossroads League).
Jakob Gibbs was a spark off the bench, pouring in a game-high 24 points. He drilled 4 of 7 from beyond the arc and 9 of 13 overall from the field.
The first half saw both teams implement a zone defense for the majority of the half. The Knights (16-4, 10-4 CL) jumped out to a 14-6 lead, forcing the Lancers to transition their defensive strategy into a zone.
The tactic worked as Grace climbed back into the contest. The Lancers unleashed an 18-5 run to grab a five-point edge. Jakob Gibbs was a crucial player in the run, scoring nine points to propel the Lancers.
Marian buried a trio of 3-pointers in the final six minutes of the first half, the last of which propelled the Knights to a 38-35 lead at halftime.
Both teams shot incredibly well in the half; Marian made 55 percent of its field goals while Grace hit 50 percent. The Knights also committed just three turnovers compared to eight for the Lancers, but Grace outrebounded Marian 18-10 in the half.
Gibbs’s nine points and Jake Wadding’s nine points tied for the team lead, and Haden Deaton provided 6 points, 4 assists and 4 boards.
The game remained close for the entirety of the second half. Marian tried to pull ahead early by opening up a 45-35 lead, but Grace closed the gap in a few minutes.
With 7:51 remaining, Elijah Malone converted a tough and-1 to give Grace a 61-60 edge. Three minutes later, Malone scored again in the paint for a 66-65 lead.
Grace did not make another field goal for the next two minutes, however, as Marian’s defense made points hard to find.
The Knights drained back-to-back triples to seize momentum with a five-point lead. Grace battled back with four straight points from Gibbs to bring Grace within 72-71 with a minute remaining.
But Grace came up empty on its final two possessions, and Marian took advantage by hitting all four free throws down the stretch to ice the win.
Grace made 47 percent of its shots overall and 35 percent from downtown. The Lancers struggled from the foul line, however, hitting only 9 of 17 (53 percent).
Marian was efficient, connecting on 53 percent from the floor, 50 percent from the 3-point line and 88 percent from the free throw stripe.
Wadding finished with 11 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals, Malone added 10 points, and Deaton tallied 10 points, 6 assists and 5 boards.
Cade Gibbs had 4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks, and Eddie Gill IV notched 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Lancers end the week on the road, playing at Taylor on Saturday at 1 p.m.