DEERFIELD, Ill. – The Grace College men’s basketball team survived a second-half drought against Trinity International on Friday night, winning 81-61 to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Niko Read exploded for 26 points in the win, draining 6-of-9 from the 3-point line in the win, and Logan Irwin added 20 points and five assists for Grace.
The Lancers led for much of the opening half and ballooned their cushion to double digits with 6:50 to play in the period. Read scored five points in the final 1:14 to help Grace claim a 48-31 advantage at halftime.
Grace continued its dominance early in the second half and held a 61-35 lead with 14:16 remaining in the game. But the Trojans (1-2) rallied back in a major way.
Trinity International, fueled by a fullcourt press and a spirited home crowd which celebrated the opening of the Trojans’ new arena, fought back with a massive 17-2 run over the ensuing six minutes. Grace went 6:11 between made field goals during that stretch until a layup from Irwin stopped the bleeding.
The Trojans chopped Grace’s lead down to 10 on two occasions, but the home team’s momentum dried up shortly after that point. Grace concluded the contest on a 14-4 spurt for the final 20-point margin of victory.
For the game Grace shot 50 percent from the floor and 63 percent (8-of-15) from the 3-point line. The Trojans were held to 27-percent shooting, including 5-of-24 on 3-pointers.
Chad Hoffer ripped off eight points in 12 minutes off the bench, Kyle Fillman scored seven points with seven rebounds, and Dennis Williams added 4 points, 6 boards and 4 blocks.
Caleb Featherston tallied six points and seven boards, and Brandon Vanderhegghen had 6 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Grace continues its tournament at Trinity International on Saturday with a 5 p.m. game against Missouri Valley.