NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A trio of Lady Lancers scored in double figures to lead the Grace College women’s basketball team to a 68-60 win over Holy Cross on Saturday in the 2013-14 season opener.
Grace used a 13-3 run with five minutes remaining to pull away from the Saints in a tightly contested game.
Allison Kauffman led all players with 15 points and five rebounds, and JoEllen Fickel made 6-of-7 from the floor for 14 points. Juaneice Jackson also tallied 12 points, three assists and two steals.
“This was a typical first game with jitters, but the team worked well together to help bring several new players into the mix,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “The girls did a good job being patient and executed at the end. We still have a lot to improve on, but we’ll get better next week.”
The Lady Lancers led for much of the first half, although their cushion was never greater than five points. A free throw from Holy Cross in the final seconds of the half tied the game at 26-26 as the teams entered the break.
Grace’s aggressive offense in the second half produced 25 free throw attempts. The Lady Lancers made 22 of those shots (88 percent) to aid their cause.
The Saints edged ahead 55-52 with 5:30 to play before Grace made its game-changing charge.
Grace’s defense picked up its pressure in the fullcourt, forcing Holy Cross into turnovers on four straight possessions. The Lady Lancers scored 13 of the game’s next 16 points to open up a 65-58 lead with 50 seconds remaining in the game.
Holy Cross was held without a field goal for the last 3:11 as Grace outscored the Saints 40-33 in the second half.
Three freshmen saw their first playing time for Grace, including Chloe Pridgen who registered five points and five rebounds. Dariyan Morris and Darian Patton also notched two steals apiece.
The Lady Lancers will have two home games next week, including Tuesday at 7 p.m. against IU-South Bend and Saturday at 1 p.m. versus Trinity Christian.