GOSHEN – The Grace College men’s basketball team was on its way to the first Crossroads League victory of its season, but second-half struggles allowed Goshen to win 81-71 in overtime on Saturday.
The Lancers surrendered a 17-point lead in the second half, aided by missed free throws, to fall to 5-4, 0-3 in the league.
Grace pulled ahead 38-25 at the halftime break thanks to 50-percent shooting in the first half. The Maple Leafs were held to 7-of-24 from the floor before halftime (29 percent).
The second half continued in Grace’s favor as back-to-back 3-pointers from Caleb Featherston lifted the Lancers to a 47-30 lead with 17:03 to play. But Grace’s momentum would run out soon after Featherston’s spurt.
Goshen gradually chipped away at Grace’s lead. With less than two minutes remaining, Logan Irwin was called for a controversial flagrant offensive foul. The Maple Leafs made both free throws and scored on their ensuing possession to trim Grace’s lead to 65-63.
Over the final minute, Grace missed two free throws and two field goals that could have secured the victory in regulation. After Goshen knotted the game from the free throw line at 66-66 with 10 seconds remaining, Irwin’s potential game-winning jumper was off the mark. Grace went 2-for-5 on free throws in the final two minutes.
In the overtime period, Goshen won the game from the foul line. The Maple Leafs only made one field goal in overtime, but they were 12-of-13 from the foul line.
Greg Miller scored 19 points with nine boards before fouling out, and Featherston notched 15 points with a trio of 3-pointers. Irwin added 9 points, 7 boards and 4 assists, and Niko Read chipped in eight points.
As a team Grace outrebounded Goshen 45-35. The Lancers committed 17 turnovers, however, and saw the Maple Leafs sink 36 free throws overall.
The Lancers will continue league play on Jan. 4 when they host archrival Bethel. Until their rivalry game, Grace will play at Robert Morris on Dec. 12 before travelling down to Puerto Rico for three games. Grace will also host a New Year’s Eve game against Ashford at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.