LAKE WALES, Fla. – The Grace College men’s basketball team could not find the answer to Warner’s offense on Tuesday night, losing 99-79 in Florida.
The Lancers, after falling behind by 24 in the first half, made a valiant comeback after halftime. But the hill proved too steep to climb as Grace’s momentum ran out in the second half.
Grace falls to 7-9 on the season and will have two weeks off before resuming action. The Lancers’ next game will be in 2018, hosting St. Francis on Jan. 3 in a women’s/men’s doubleheader at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
The Royals (10-5) gave a taste of what was to come by scoring on their first six possessions. Warner had a 14-6 lead before four minutes had ticked off the clock, forcing Grace into an early timeout.
Warner blitzed Grace’s defense for 55 first-half points, making 23 field goals at a 68 percent clip. The Lancers struggled playing from behind and entered halftime with a 55-34 deficit.
Logan Godfrey was a bright spot in the half, netting 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting to represent nearly half of the team’s scoring.
Midway into the second half, the Lancers needed a boost as they trailed by 23 with 12 minutes remaining. Grace found it in the silky stroke of senior sniper Stephen Halstead.
Over the course of 2:50, Halstead caught fire. He buried four 3-pointers, including his first three triples on three straight possessions. His fourth trifecta brought the Lancers to within 13 points with 8:22 remaining.
Charlie Warner then sunk two free throws to make the score 80-69. Grace still trailed by 11 with 5:34 left in the game, but Warner pulled away over the final minutes to stop the Lancers’ rally.
For the game Grace shot 43 percent compared to 60 percent for Warner. The Royals made 17-of-18 from the free throw line and outrebounded Grace by six.
Godfrey recorded a career-high 28 points in the loss. He made 13-of-18 from the floor, adding nine rebounds and two blocks as well.
Bowen and Halstead finished with 15 points apiece with Bowen adding six rebounds and three assists. Matt Jennings tallied nine points, and Warner added seven points.