No. 2 Cougars overpower Lancers

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s men’s basketball team could not find a solution to No. 2 St. Francis on Wednesday in a 94-71 defeat.

The Lancers (7-10, 0-5 Crossroads League) were efficient on offense, but the Cougars (15-2, 5-0 CL) were even better. USF shot 57 percent from the floor for the game, including a sizzling 64 percent in the first half.

The first eight minutes went according to plan for Grace. The Lancers jumped out to an 18-13 lead thanks to back-to-back triples from the freshman duo of Matt Jennings and Haden Deaton.

But the game changed for good over the next four minutes. USF rattled off four 3-pointers to key a blistering 21-2 run. During that run, the Cougars scored 10 points on fastbreak opportunities as the Lancers struggled to keep pace.

Martin Schiele hit a 3-pointer with 4:37 left in the half to cut USF’s margin down to nine, but that proved to be the closest Grace would get for the rest of the contest.

The Cougars led 55-36 at halftime and maintained a 20-point cushion for nearly the entire second half.

Grace was effective on offense, shooting 54 percent from the game. The Lancers shot even better from beyond the arc, going 9-of-13 for a 69-percent clip. Grace had an assist on 21 of its 28 made field goals.

Jennings racked up 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go along with four assists, and Erik Bowen had 11 points and eight rebounds.

Deaton and Logan Godfrey each scored seven, Braxton Linville added five points and seven assists, and Jaret Sons hit two 3-pointers in 11 minutes of action.

The Lancers will look to get their first league win on Saturday at Goshen. The game, starting at 3 p.m., is the second half of a women’s and men’s doubleheader at Goshen.