WINONA LAKE – Grace’s men’s basketball team was unable to put together a winning streak, falling to Marian on Tuesday 79-72.
The Lancers (9-10, 1-6 Crossroads League), fresh off a comeback win on Saturday, fell into an early hole and never saw the lead again.
Grace struggled at the free throw line, shooting just 14-of-22 for 64 percent. The Knights (9-9, 1-6 CL), conversely, were a perfect 22-of-22 from the foul line.
The Lancers went ahead 2-0 on their first possession after Erik Bowen converted on a post move. The next four minutes belonged fully to Marian.
The Knights unleashed 16 straight points to grab a commanding 16-2 lead. Marian made its first eight field goal attempts of the game and did not miss either a free throw or field goal for the first 6:59 of the contest.
The Lancers called a timeout halfway through Marian’s run, but it did little to slow down the Knights. A 3-pointer from Jaret Sons off the bench eventually stopped Marian’s streak, but the Knights continued to be the aggressors.
Marian earned a 17-point edge at 28-11 before Grace began to show signs of life. The Lancers used a 15-2 run to climb back into the game. Sons scored five points during Grace’s run, and Charlie Warner added four more.
But Marian ended the half as the stronger side, reasserting a double-digit lead at 42-31 as the halftime buzzer sounded.
Marian shot 53 percent from the floor in the first half, including 6-of-12 from beyond the arc.
To start the second half, Grace came out strong with eight quick points. Logan Godfrey scored the final four points, the last of which came on a fastbreak jam to make the score 44-39 with 16:26 remaining.
But it took the Knights just three minutes to earn another 10-point lead, building their cushion up to as much as 17 in the second half.
Grace made the game interesting in the final minutes with a late flurry. Braxton Linville aided the Lancers with eight points in the final 2:06. The Lancers chopped Marian’s cushion down to five in the final seconds, but the damage was already done.
Grace placed five players in double-digit scoring. Bowen had 11 points and six boards, and Tre Olive tallied 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Sons scored 10 points with a pair of 3-pointers, Chad Hoffer produced 10 points, and Linville chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.
Stephen Halstead finished with nine points, and Godfrey added eight points and four rebounds.
As a team, Grace had three more rebounds and the same amount of turnovers. But Marian made eight more free throws despite shooting the same amount overall.
The Lancers will travel to Spring Arbor on Saturday for a doubleheader with the women’s team. The women tip off at 1 p.m. with the men to follow at 3 p.m.