SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – All-American senior Greg Miller’s 27 points and 14 rebounds highlighted Grace’s 68-64 victory over Spring Arbor in a tightly contested game on Thursday night.
The Lancers (15-9; 7-6 Crossroads League) have won seven of their past eight games thanks to late-game heroics from Brandon Vanderhegghen. Grace is now just three games out of first place in the CL standings and two games out of second place.
Miller hit two of his four 3-pointers in the first seven minutes of the game. His second trey put Grace ahead 17-9 in the early stages of the contest.
Spring Arbor rallied to keep the score close, eventually edging ahead by three with five minutes left in the half. The Cougars went into the break leading 32-31.
Vanderhegghen opened the scoring in the second half with a trey to swing the lead back to Grace. Although the Lancers never trailed in the second half after Vanderhegghen’s 3-pointer, Grace struggled to put the Cougars away for good.
Spring Arbor cut the Lancers’ margin to one possession multiple times over the final 2:00, but Grace had the answer each time.
Vanderhegghen hit two big shots late, and Logan Irwin made a pair of key free throws with 24 seconds on the clock. But the Cougars refused to fade, hitting a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining to cut the deficit to two points at 66-64.
The Lancers needed to secure the win at the free throw line, and they delivered. Vanderhegghen, who hit four free throws in the final 17 seconds, sealed the win with a pair of foul shots for the last points of the contest. He scored 10 of his 13 points in the final five minutes. The sophomore guard also added four assists.
Miller scored his 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including a sizzling 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Jared Treadway had a strong performance for Grace, making 6-of-11 from the floor and tallying 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Logan Irwin overcame a poor shooting night (2-of-12) to produce eight points, six assists and four rebounds without a turnover.
The Lancers will look to make up more ground in the league standings on Saturday when they host No. 11 St. Francis at 3 p.m. The game will take place immediately after the women’s Grace/St. Francis matchup in a doubleheader at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.