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No. 3 USF outmuscles Grace

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Grace’s men’s basketball team could not slow down the offensive firepower of No. 3 St. Francis on Wednesday in a 99-81 defeat.

The Lancers (11-18, 4-13 Crossroads League) allowed USF to shoot 61 percent from the floor for the game, including a lethal 11-of-15 (73 percent) from beyond the arc.

Grace was extremely careful with the basketball, only committing two turnovers for the entire game. But the Lancers could only muster a 40 percent shooting performance.

One area where Grace excelled offensively was from beyond the arc. The Lancers buried 15 triples, including 5-of-7 from Jaret Sons and 4-of-6 from Matt Jennings. Jennings led Grace with 23 points and three assists, and Sons poured in 17 points and four boards off the bench.

The Cougars (23-6, 13-4 CL), who currently sit tied for first in the league standings, jumped out to a 14-4 lead on Wednesday.

Grace faced a double-digit lead for much of the half and went into halftime behind 48-38.

Grace found life early in the second half. Jennings gave Grace a spark by scoring five straight points, and Erik Bowen followed that up with a pair of buckets to cut USF’s lead down to nine.

On Grace’s next possession, Haden Deaton buried a 3-pointer to make the score 56-50 with 15:23 remaining.

The Cougars responded with a 6-0 run to reassert a 12-point lead, but Grace continued to fight. Sons and Stephen Halstead combined for three 3-pointers, keying an 11-3 run. But the Lancers’ momentum ran out soon after that spurt, and the Cougars eased away for the win.

Jennings shot 8-of-14 from the floor for his 23 points to go along with three assists, and Sons scored 17 points in just 21 minutes.

Logan Godfrey picked up a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Deaton added 11 points and three assists.

Bowen scored six points, and Tim Swanson chipped in five points.

The Lancers will end the regular season at home on Saturday, hosting Taylor at 3 p.m. Saturday will also be Senior Day for the Lancers.