WINONA LAKE – Juaneice Jackson scored 16 of her game-high 23 points in the second half to lead the Grace College women’s basketball team to a 55-49 win over Mount Vernon Nazarene on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers recovered from a second-half deficit to win by six in a crucial league matchup.
With the win Grace moves into sole possession of fourth place in the Crossroads League with a record of 5-4 in the CL and 14-7 overall.
Mount Vernon led out of the gate, scoring the first seven points of the game.
Grace’s offense struggled for much of the first half. Over the first eight minutes of action, the Lady Lancers trailed 15-4 after shooting 2-of-9 from the field with five turnovers.
Grace found its shooting touch soon afterward as 3-pointers from Allison Kauffman and Jackson brought the Lady Lancers back within striking range.
Grace’s defensive effort allowed the team to overcome poor shooting in the first half (33 percent from the field, 0-for-4 from the foul line). Overall Grace tallied 14 of their 19 points off of Mount Vernon turnovers.
Mount Vernon came out of their halftime locker room ahead 24-19 and maintained their advantage for the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Jackson lifted Grace to its first lead of the game on a terrific individual effort. Jackson ripped off 10 points in less than two minutes to turn Grace’s four-point deficit into a four-point lead with 10:35 to play.
She drained back-to-back 3-pointers to jumpstart the run and proceeded to steal the ball twice in a row and race away for fastbreak layups to cap off her spurt.
Grace never trailed again for the final 10 minutes after Jackson’s 10-point swing.
The Lady Lancers maintained their advantage by getting to the foul line. Grace made 16 second-half free throws, including nine in the last 4:02.
Jackson’s 23 points also included game-highs in assist (4) and steals (6). Kauffman was the other Lady Lancer in double digits with 13 points to go along with six rebounds.
Jayla Starks contributed seven points and nine rebounds, and Lindsey Schaefer added six points and nine boards.
Overall Grace outrebounded Mount Vernon 40-31.
Grace will prepare for their upcoming road clash with NAIA No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Lady Lancers will look to repeat last season’s game when they toppled then-No. 1 IWU 41-39 on Jan. 25, 2012.