INDIANAPOLIS – The Grace College women’s basketball team was unable to slow down No. 4 Marian on Wednesday night, losing on the road 91-73 in Crossroads League play.
The Lady Lancers (14-13, 9-6 Crossroads League) shot 50 percent from the floor as a team, but Marian was even better. The Knights, the defending NAIA national champions, hit 58 percent of their shots and 88 percent of their free throws.
Grace placed four players in double-digit scoring, led by 16 points from Veronica Drake and 14 points off the bench from Chloe Pridgen.
The first quarter set the tone for what turned out to be a barnburner. Marian ripped off 27 points in the quarter, and Grace did its best to keep pace by scoring 20. Pam Miller had a key hand in Grace’s quarter, scoring a basket on three straight possessions.
Marian (24-3, 14-1 CL) continued its offensive assault in the second quarter. By the midway point of the quarter, the Knights led by 16. But Grace again battled back, led by five points apiece from Drake and Haley Richardson, to cut Marian’s lead to 42-32 at halftime.
Richardson scored the first three points of the second half to trim the Knights’ margin down to seven. Marian refused to let Grace get any closer, however, and pulled ahead by 14 entering the last quarter.
Marian opened the fourth quarter by scoring six straight points to earn a commanding 20-point lead, and the Lady Lancers were unable to string together a significant run until the final buzzer.
Drake’s game-high 16 points came with three assists and three boards, and Pridgen shot 4-of-5 from the floor for her 14 points and six rebounds.
Darian Patton filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, Richardson produced 13 points and four boards, and Miller shot 4-of-5 for eight points.
As a team, Grace outrebounded Marian by four. The Lady Lancers also nabbed nine steals and got to the free throw line 28 times.
The Lady Lancers return home on Saturday against Spring Arbor. Saturday, which is also Senior Day, is a doubleheader starting with the women’s game at 1 p.m.