No. 3 IWU holds off Grace’s upset bid

by | Jan 15, 2019 | RRSN News | 0 comments

No. 3 IWU holds off Grace’s upset bid

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – For the second time this season, Grace’s men’s basketball team nearly pulled off an upset of a highly ranked Indiana Wesleyan squad.

In November Grace took IWU, then ranked No. 1, to overtime before falling.

Tuesday’s game had a similar theme. The Lancers were unable to make winning plays during the final minutes and lost 81-76 to No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan.

The Lancers struggled with their shooting touch all night, making 40 percent collectively as a team. The Wildcats, on the other hand, made over 50 percent of their shots in each half.

Grace’s defense struggled to slow down the Wildcats (18-3, 7-2 Crossroads League) over the opening minutes. IWU needed less than five minutes to score 19 points and quickly opened up a 21-10 lead.

But Grace reacted with seven straight points, sparked by a triple from Braxton Linville.

The teams traded small runs during the half, but the Wildcats continued to sustain a small lead.

A pair of 3-pointers by Linville and Haden Deaton trimmed IWU’s cushion down to 33-29, and Grace went into halftime behind 39-35.

The Lancers (11-10, 1-8 CL) stayed within striking distance despite a glaring disparity in shooting. IWU shot 55 percent as a team compared to 41 percent for Grace. The Lancers did grab eight offensive boards and had just five turnovers to aid their cause.

Grace started the second half sharply. A 3-pointer in the corner from Charlie Warner cut IWU’s lead down to 43-42.

The Wildcats continued to find scores whenever the Lancers threatened, refusing to give up the lead.

The contest remained nervously close for the entirety of the second half. But each time Grace looked poised to make a run, IWU had an answer.

With Grace trailing late by four, the Lancers were called for an offensive foul that seemed to swing momentum over to the Wildcats.

IWU scored on back-to-back possessions off Grace turnovers to open up a 10-point lead. The Wildcats converted on four straight possessions down the stretch to effectively put the game out of reach.

The Lancers did their best to rally in the final minute. Triples by Linville and Charlie Warner kept pressure on the Wildcats, but IWU made free throws down the stretch to hold off Grace.

Godfrey scored a team-leading 21 points to go along with seven rebounds. He made a career-high 13-of-13 from the foul line.

Warner continued his impressive play of late with 19 points and five rebounds. Linville scored a season-high 17 points, adding 8 assists and 4 rebounds with just 1 turnover.

Deaton scored nine points with five boards, Jaret Sons tacked on seven points and five rebounds, and Eddie Gill IV grabbed a team-leading eight boards.

The Lancers remain home on Saturday, hosting Taylor at 3 p.m. as the second part of a doubleheader with the women’s teams.

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