UPLAND – In the final game of the regular season, the Grace College men’s basketball team lost at Taylor 81-74.
The Lancers (14-16, 6-12 Crossroads League) fell behind in the first half and could not complete a comeback after halftime in the Crossroads League matchup on Saturday.
Braxton Linville racked up 18 points with a trio of 3-pointers, and Chad Hoffer produced 16 points off the bench with five boards.
Erik Bowen also reached a milestone for Grace. His eight points on Saturday gave him exactly 1,000 career points, becoming the 48th member of Grace’s 1,000 Point Club.
The first half started well for Grace. Stephen Halstead opened the game with a 3-pointer, and the Lancers maintained a slight lead for much of the half.
Linville hit a 3-pointer with 5:54 remaining, handing Grace a 26-24 advantage. But Grace’s offense went cold over the final six minutes.
Taylor outscored Grace 14-3 after Linville’s triple; the Lancers could only muster three free throws over the last 5:54 as the Trojans (20-10, 11-7 CL) went into halftime ahead 38-29.
Grace began to claw back after halftime and sliced Taylor’s cushion down to four with 13:59 remaining.
Hoffer and Jaret Sons brought Grace even closer. Hoffer scored four quick points, and Sons scored in the paint to make the score 56-55 with seven minutes to play.
Hoffer then scored a minute later to tie the game at 57 apiece, and he tied the game again at 59-59.
But Taylor broke the game open with seven straight points, and the Lancers were unable to respond.
Grace shot 43 percent from the floor as a team compared to 50 percent for Taylor.
Halstead scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, and Bowen produced eight points and 11 rebounds. Logan Godfrey had 7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in limited minutes before fouling out.
The Lancers will begin play in the Crossroads League Tournament Wednesday. Grace will be on the road in the quarterfinals as the No. 8 seed, traveling to regular season champions Bethel at 7 p.m.