WINONA LAKE – After a highly competitive first half, the Grace College women’s basketball team faded on Wednesday night in a 76-51 loss to No. 5 Marian.
The Lady Lancers (14-13, 8-7 Crossroads League) made just five field goals after halftime and shot only 35 percent for the game from the floor.
Vironnica Drake had a team-high 15 points, and Micaela Box added 10 points.
In the first quarter, Drake scored eight points to give Grace a spark. Marian flexed its muscles, however, from the outside. The Knights buried four 3-pointers in the quarter and led 23-14.
Marian continued its surge in the second quarter; the Knights (25-2, 14-1 CL) scored eight unanswered points to grab a commanding 35-19 lead.
But Grace owned the final six minutes of the half. Marian was stifled on offense and could not score for the final 6:32 of the half.
The Lady Lancers took advantage by going on a 12-0 run, closing the gap to 35-31 at halftime. Lauren Godfrey scored four points in the run, and Brooke Sugg and Drake each hit a triple. Drake was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc for 13 points in the first half.
The third quarter signaled Grace’s downfall. The Lady Lancers scored just two points for the first seven minutes of the quarter, a segment of the game in which Grace missed eight straight field goals.
As a result of Grace’s massive drought, Marian charged ahead by 20 at 53-33; Kaylie Warble scored with 2:57 remaining in the quarter to snap Grace’s skid, but the Lady Lancers still trailed by 19 entering the last quarter.
Box hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, but Grace was never able to build a significant rally for the remainder of the contest. Marian made nine free throws in the last quarter and cruised to the final buzzer.
Grace’s shooting woes after halftime included 5-of-24 (21 percent) from the floor as a team and 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. Additionally Grace made only 67 percent of its free throws for the game.
Sugg finished with nine points, Warble had a game-high eight rebounds, and Lexi Minix added six points and three boards.
The Lady Lancers end the week on Saturday with a road contest at Spring Arbor at 1 p.m.