WINONA LAKE – An evenly played first half dissipated into an easy victory for second-seeded California Baptist over No. 7 Grace in the first round of the 2013 NCCAA National Championships Wednesday night.
California Baptist made better than 50 percent of their shots each half en route to their 83-65 win on the opening day of the eight-team tournament at the Orthpaedic Capital Center on the Grace College campus.
CBU’s Simone Holmes made 10-of-12 from the floor for a game-high 22 points and had five steals, while Jasmine Beverly recorded 18 points and nine rebounds.
Grace was sluggish through the midway point of the first half and trailed 33-20 with under five minutes to play, but the Lady Lancers jumpstarted themselves to end the half on a 13-3 charge. CBU possessed a slight 36-33 advantage into the halftime break.
Grace kept the score close through the first five minutes of the second half until CBU launched an 18-2 run. The Lady Lancers were unable to come no closer than 15 points for the remainder of the contest.
California Baptist held a 37-27 advantage in rebounding with 12 offensive boards to their credit. They made 52 percent of their field goals to offset a 13-of-26 performance from the free throw line.
Allison Kauffman recorded 13 points and six rebounds to lead Grace, while Juaneice Jackson tallied 10 points, and Jayla Starks added seven points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.
California Baptist advances to the semifinals against No. 6 Oklahoma Christian on Thursday at 8:45 p.m. while Grace will take on No. 3 Cedarville on Thursday at 1:45 p.m. in the consolation bracket.