WINONA LAKE – Juaneice Jackson continued her outstanding junior campaign with 24 points in a losing effort for the Grace College women’s basketball team against No. 3 Saint Francis on Saturday.
Jackson set the program’s record for most points in a season, but her production was not enough as the Cougars (25-3; 14-2 Crossroads League) pulled away to a 64-56 victory.
With a steal and breakaway layup just over five minutes into the contest, Jackson recorded her 510th point of the season. That mark breaks the existing record for most single-season points, previously held by Cheryl Myers in 1991-92 (508 points).
Overall, Grace’s defense gave Saint Francis fits in the first half. The Cougars, who average over 70 points per game, were limited to two points over the first 7:22 of action.
The Lady Lancers (18-10; 9-7 CL), on the other hand, grabbed a 12-2 advantage behind four points apiece from Allison Kauffman and Jackson.
The Cougars employed a fullcourt press for the duration of the first half, forcing the Lady Lancers into 11 turnovers.
Saint Francis tied the game 20-20 late in the half before Grace pulled away in the final minute. Emily Bidwell converted a bucket in the paint in the waning seconds to hand the Lady Lancers a 29-24 halftime lead.
Grace’s offense went cold in the early portions of the second half as they managed just one point over their first six possessions. Saint Francis claimed their first lead of the game at that point, 34-30.
Jackson poured in four unanswered points to lead the Lady Lancers back on top by two points with 13:33 to play.
But the Cougars slowly pulled away from the Lady Lancers with a 20-7 run over the next 10 minutes, and Grace was unable to muster another push before the final horn.
As a team, Grace finished with 22 turnovers to nullify their plus-eight advantage in rebounding.
The Lady Lancers made 41 percent from the floor and 5-of-10 from the foul line.
Jackson’s 24 points came with a trio of 3-pointers and a career-best seven steals.
Kauffman recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Jayla Starks filled the stat sheet with seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks, two steals and two points.
The Lady Lancers, who sit in a tie for fourth place in the Crossroads League, will host third-place Bethel on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Grace will honor their senior trio of Jayla Starks, Rianne Aguilar and Emily Bidwell on Wednesday.