Peterson’s last-second free throws beat Bluefield

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – An at-times feisty game went down to the final play on Thursday. Grace’s women’s basketball team rallied to beat Bluefield 57-56 in the consolation bracket of the NCCAA National Championships.

Kelsie Peterson sank two free throws with two seconds remaining to win the game in dramatic fashion for the Lady Lancers.

Grace will wrap up its season in the fifth-place game of the national tournament on Friday at 7 p.m.

Thursday’s game was full of momentum swings. Neither team was particularly efficient on offense, but Grace scored last to win the game.

Bluefield, who led for much of the fourth quarter, found itself ahead 56-52 entering the final minute. Vironnica Drake gave Grace hope by hitting a 3-pointer with 19 seconds on the clock.

Grace, trailing by one, was forced to foul. Bluefield missed both free throws with seven seconds left, giving the Lady Lancers a chance to win. Peterson was then fouled on a jumper with two seconds remaining, and the junior calmly hit both foul shots to put Grace up 57-56.

The Lady Rams called timeout to advance the ball to halfcourt, but their last-second shot did not graze the rim to give Grace the win.

The middle two quarters of the game could not have been different. In the second quarter, Grace held Bluefield to five points and took a commanding 32-21 lead at halftime.

But the third quarter flipped the script. The Lady Rams outscored the Lady Lancers 19-9 in the period to set up a nervy final quarter.

Drake led Grace with 12 points and four rebounds, and Peterson added 11 points, 1 block and 1 steal.

Chloe Pridgen tallied eight points and five boards in 16 minutes, Haley Richardson had 7 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, and Darian Patton added seven points and five boards.