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Overtime effort not enough against No. 13 SAU

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – A valiant comeback against No. 13 Spring Arbor came up short for Grace’s men’s basketball team on Saturday.

The Lancers, who led in the final minute of regulation, lost 87-82 in overtime at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

The Cougars (17-3, 5-3 Crossroads League) stunned Grace from the tipoff with a barrage of 3-pointers. SAU rattled off four triples before four minutes had expired, seizing a 12-2 advantage.

The Lancers (7-13, 0-8 CL) fell behind 26-11 midway into the first half before Grace’s defense managed to slow down the Cougars.

Grace went on a 13-5 run over the next seven minutes thanks to four points from Erik Bowen and a 3-pointer from Jaret Sons.

But SAU went into halftime with momentum after beating the buzzer with a layup to pull ahead 41-33. Both teams shot well in the half; SAU hit 57 percent of its field goals while Grace was at 55 percent.

Grace slowly chipped away at the Cougars’ cushion in the second half, keeping pressure on SAU. The Lancers came to within one at 61-60 after Logan Godfrey hit two free throws with 4:53 remaining.

On the next possession, Godfrey was fouled again and tied the game, and Matt Jennings gave Grace its first lead at 66-64 with 3:10 left on the clock.

With 1:38 left, Haden Deaton buried a clutch 3-pointer from the corner to put the Lancers on top 69-67 and force a timeout by the Cougars. SAU’s first game-tying shot was blocked by Godfrey, but the Cougars were fouled on the ensuing loose ball and tied the game at the free throw line.

Deaton had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but his driving bank shot was short as the game went to overtime.

Spring Arbor started overtime with confidence with six straight points from Paul Marandet, but the Lancers continued to fight back. Timely triples from Charlie Warner, Jennings and Sons kept the Lancers within striking distance.

But the Cougars refused to surrender the lead. SAU incredibly scored on all eight of its possessions in overtime, pulling away for the five-point win.

Grace shot 46 percent as a team from the floor, including 47 percent from the 3-point line. The Lancers were exceptional from the foul line, making 22-of-24 (92 percent).

The Cougars made 53 percent of their shots for the game and only committed 10 turnovers.

Sons scored a team-high 16 points while going 4-of-6 from the 3-point line, and Godfrey had 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

Jennings had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists, Deaton tallied 12 points, and Bowen finished with 11 points, 7 boards and 3 assists.

The Lancers head to No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in pursuit of their first league victory.