UPLAND – For the second straight game, a poor first quarter doomed the Grace College women’s basketball team.
The Lady Lancers (10-12, 4-6 Crossroads League) could not recover from a slow start at No. 20 Taylor on Saturday, resulting in a 83-59 defeat.
The first quarter saw Grace start well, holding Taylor without a point for the first two minutes. But the Trojans (15-7, 8-2 CL) owned the rest of the period.
Taylor went on a 21-2 run, turning a 4-3 Grace lead into a 24-6 Grace hole. Lauren Godfrey scored in the last minute of the quarter, but Grace still trailed 26-8.
Grace shot 4-of-15 (27 percent) from the floor, allowing Taylor to make 69 percent of its field goals in the quarter. The Lady Lancers also had six turnovers.
The Lady Lancers were unable to make any progress erasing Taylor’s lead in the second quarter and trailed 47-29 at halftime.
Grace finally made a push midway through the fourth quarter. With Grace facing a 68-48 deficit, the Lady Lancers produced a rapid comeback. Brooke Sugg hit two free throws to start the rally, and Micaela Box and Kyannah Stull hit back-to-back 3-pointers.
On the next possession, Pam Miller converted an and-1 to make the score 70-59 with 3:47 remaining. But Grace’s offense went cold down the stretch, and Taylor took advantage with six free throws to pull away.
Taylor forced Grace into 21 turnovers and 40 percent shooting on offense. The Trojans also had a 39-25 advantage in rebounds and had 22 assists. Grace was 7-of-24 from beyond the arc (29 percent).
Sugg scored a team-high 15 points to go along with three rebounds and two steals, and Stull drilled 4-of-6 from beyond the arc for 12 points.
Box tallied 12 points and two assists, and Miller added 7 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds.
The Lady Lancers will look to rebound on Wednesday with a home contest against Mt. Vernon Nazarene at 7 p.m.