WINONA LAKE – The upsets keep rolling in for the surging Grace College men’s basketball team.
The Lancers’ latest victim was No. 11 St. Francis on Saturday by the score of 76-73.
After an 0-5 start to the Crossroads League season, the Lancers (16-9; 8-6 CL) have won eight of their past nine games, including four upsets of NAIA Top-25 ranked opponents during that stretch.
The win moves the Lancers one game out of fifth place and two games out of second place in the league standings.
Five Lancers scored in double figures, and Greg Miller and Jared Treadway each had double-doubles.
Grace seemed to have the upper hand throughout much of Saturday afternoon’s contest. Despite Miller being limited to 12 minutes in the first half from foul trouble, the Lancers still claimed a 38-30 lead at halftime.
Drew Perrin and Brandon Vanderhegghen were major sparks off the bench for Grace in the opening half. Vanderhegghen drilled a trio of 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes to pick up the scoring slack for Grace.
The Cougars (17-9; 9-5 CL) trailed by double digits for nearly the entire second half, but the visiting team nearly pulled off a dramatic comeback late in the game.
Grace was up by 12 points with less than two minutes to play when St. Francis mounted a furious rally. St. Francis cut Grace’s lead down to one possession on three separate occasions, but each time Grace had the answer.
Jared Treadway answered first with a breakaway two-handed dunk with 27 seconds left. He then hit a pair of free throws with 15 seconds remaining. Niko Read iced the victory at the foul line six seconds later, hitting 1-of-2 to give Grace the two-possession lead it needed to win.
Miller finished with 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting to take scoring honors. He also hauled down 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. Treadway added 12 points and 11 boards.
Logan Irwin finished with 13 points and five assists, and Vanderhegghen chipped in 11 points, and Read hit for 10 points with a trio of 3-pointers.
Grace held a plus-seven advantage in rebounding, making just under 50 percent (23-of-47) of their shots for the game.
The Lancers face one of their toughest weeks of the season next with a pair of road games against ranked opponents. Grace plays at Marian on Tuesday night before traveling to Huntington on Saturday.