WINONA LAKE – The Grace College women’s basketball continued its impressive Crossroads League play with a 51-42 win over Taylor on Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Lancers (12-10, 7-3 CL) won their third straight game on the strength of their defense, holding Taylor to 24 percent shooting for the game.
Grace is now alone in third place in the league standings, one game away from second place and two out of first.
The Lady Lancers’ offense was balanced as three players reached double-digit scoring. Lauren Godfrey hit four 3-pointers for a team-high 12 points, and Darian Patton and Haley Richardson both scored 10 points.
While Grace did not shoot well from beyond the arc in the first half (2-of-11) and did not attempt a free throw, the Lady Lancers’ defense helped Grace open up a comfortable lead.
After one quarter of play, Grace and Taylor were level at 11-11. But Grace soon found cracks in the Trojans’ zone defense and outscored Taylor 19-7 in the second quarter.
Grace used a 15-3 run in the second quarter, sparked by crisp passing and stout defense. Darian Patton scored on back-to-back plays and tallied six points overall in the quarter, and Kelsie Peterson added four more to give Grace a 30-18 lead at halftime.
Richardson led all players with eight points in the first half, shooting 4-of-5 from the floor. Grace grabbed nine offensive rebounds in the half and made eight more field goals than Taylor.
The Trojans (9-13, 4-6 CL) were stifled into shooting 21 percent from the floor, including 1-of-11 from the beyond the arc.
In the third quarter, Taylor whittled Grace’s cushion down to single digits with a 7-0 run. The Trojans hit two late 3-pointers to cut their deficit down to 43-35 at the end of the period.
Neither team could produce much on the offensive end in the fourth quarter. The sides combined for 15 points, and Taylor was held to just seven.
Grace bumped its lead up to 11 with 1:43 remaining when Peterson scored on a drive into the lane. But Taylor responded with five quick points over the next 31 seconds to make the score 48-42.
Vironnica Drake took care of the rest from the foul line, hitting three free throws in the last minute to win by nine.
Patton just missed a double-double with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, and Richardson added three assists to her 10 points.
Peterson finished with six points and five boards, Drake tallied 5 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals, and Pam Miller chipped in four points and six rebounds.
The Lady Lancers are on the road twice next week, heading to Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday and Goshen on Saturday.