WINONA LAKE – Grace’s women’s basketball team won its opening game of the Bennigan’s Terry Polston Hoops for Hope on Friday, beating Judson 69-60 at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
The Lady Lancers (6-2) forced Judson into 19 turnovers to stifle the Eagles’ offense for much of the contest.
Grace started the game with the hot hand, scoring the first seven points of the game. Judson came back to claim a 10-9 lead a few minutes later, but Grace’s defensive pressure was about to shift momentum.
The Lady Lancers used a 13-2 run fueled by a fullcourt pressure to open up a 10-point lead. Grace scored six of its points in that run off turnovers.
The Eagles clawed back to within two points, but the Lady Lancers ran off an 11-2 spree to regain a 34-23 advantage with less than four minutes left in the half. Heather House and Sarah Feasby notched four points apiece during Grace’s run.
Grace entered halftime with a 10-point cushion at 38-28. Allison Kauffman tallied 11 first-half points to lead all players.
Grace’s advantage crawled up to 16 points after five minutes of the second half, leading 47-31 with 14:40 remaining. Judson used a much-needed 14-4 run at that point to climb back into contention.
The Eagles trailed by 57-52 with 4:51 to play before five quick points from Lindsey Schaefer and Gabby Bryant gave Grace the room it needed to win.
Kauffman’s 23 points led all players. She made all 10 of her free throws and hauled in a team-high eight rebounds.
Lindsey Schaefer finished with 12 points and six boards, and Gabby Bryant hit two 3-pointers for 12 points. Kelsie Peterson also hit a pair of treys, and Darian Patton handed out a game-best four assists.
The Lady Lancers continue play in the Bennigan’s Terry Polston Hoops for Hope on Saturday at 2 p.m. against No. 12 Cardinal Stritch. The Wolves upset defending champion No. 1 St. Francis 67-60 in the tournament’s first game on Friday.