By COLE HELMAN
WINONA LAKE — Grace’s men’s basketball team was unable to maintain its first half momentum in a loss to No. 10 Indiana Wesleyan on Tuesday night.
The Lancers trailed by just two at halftime but fell apart in the final 20 minutes to lose 101-74 at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center in the Crossroads League contest.
The first half was tightly contested as both teams battled to build a lead. The lead changed hands 11 times in the half, the largest lead only reaching five points. IWU (17-4, 7-2 CL) went into halftime leading 44-42.
IWU was red hot from behind the 3-point line to start the game. The Wildcats made six 3-pointers in the first half, hitting over 50 percent midway through the half.
Grace (9-12, 1-8 CL) outmatched IWU in the post throughout the half as they held the advantage in both points in the paint and rebounds going into halftime. Logan Godfrey led both teams with nine boards in the first half.
Both teams had two players in double-digit scoring in the first half. Erik Bowen and Tre Olive both scored 10 in the half. IWU’s Lane Mahurin recorded 11 points, and Bob Peters contributed 10 points to the cause.
Olive lit a spark off the bench with both his offense and defense. He did his best LeBron James impression with a chase-down block from behind. Not to be outdone, Jaret Sons came off the bench scorching, going a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats never let their lead waver in the second half. IWU took all the momentum starting off the half with a 16-5 run. They never looked back on their way to a 101-74 win.
IWU took advantage of 16 Lancer turnovers. The Wildcats totaled 22 points off turnovers in the game, 13 points coming in the second half alone. IWU dominated the paint in the second half, outscoring Grace 26-14.
The Lancers struggled offensively in the second half. Grace shot 7-for-29 from the field in the half, including 0-for-8 from behind the 3-point line.
Grace did excel at getting to the free throw line, earning 37 attempts for the game which was 14 more than the Wildcats.
IWU spread the ball around well on offense with 21 assists. They took care of the ball and valued each possession as they only turned the ball over five times in the game.
The bright spots for the Lancers included Bowen, Olive and Sons. Bowen finished with 19 points and six rebounds. Olive replicated his first-half performance, finishing with 20 points for the game. Sons finished with 11 points with help from his three 3-pointers.
IWU had three players finish in double-digits scoring. Peters finished with 22 points, Jacob Johnson scored 16 points, and Mahurin ended with 15 points.
Grace will look to bounce back on Saturday with a home doubleheader against No. 15 Taylor. The game at the MOCC will tip off at 3 p.m., after the women’s game at 1 p.m.