SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – As has been the unfortunate theme this year, Grace’s men’s basketball team came up just shy of another marquee upset.
The Lancers fell 105-94 in double overtime at No. 5 Spring Arbor on Tuesday. Grace held a lead over the Cougars (20-3, 10-1 Crossroads League) near the end of regulation and the first overtime period, but SAU converted offensively in pressure situations to stave off the upset.
Former Warsaw standout Paul Marandet had a huge night, racking up 33 points and 12 assists. Marandet was 12-21 from the floor, 8-10 from the free throw line, and committed just three turnovers in 43 minutes of play. Spring Arbor as a whole committed just four turnovers in the game.
Logan Godfrey earned scoring honors on the night, pouring in a career-high 36 points and 15 rebounds to lead all players. Haden Deaton also scored 24 points with seven boards.
The Lancers (11-12, 1-10 CL) struggled offensively in the first half. Grace shot just 38 percent from the floor and did not attempt a free throw. The loss drops Grace to 0-7 this year against ranked teams, all seven in the Crossroads League.
SAU, on the other hand, shot 40 percent overall, 67 percent from the 3-point line and 80 percent from the foul line. The Cougars also had 10 assists on just one turnover and led 36-28 at halftime.
Grace fell behind by 10 on the first possession of the second half, and the Lancers still trailed by 11 with 12:27 remaining.
Martin Schiele helped spark a comeback for Grace with a pair of jump shots; his 3-pointer cut SAU’s lead down to six at 51-45.
Godfrey was dominant during Grace’s rally, powering the Lancers with a variety of post moves. Godfrey amassed 18 points over the final 12 minutes of regulation, eventually leading Grace to the lead.
Charlie Warner tied the score with a banked shot at 55-55, and Godfrey put Grace ahead with a pair of free throws.
The score remained close over the final minutes, but the Cougars hit a 3-pointer with a minute left to grab a 71-67 lead.
Grace was unflustered and rallied to tie the game. Godfrey muscled his way to a basket to cut the deficit to two. On the next possession, Grace thought it had forced a jump ball with the Cougars, but SAU called for timeout just before the tie-up.
SAU missed its free throw, however, and Grace called timeout with 11.8 seconds remaining to set up a game-tying play.
Grace fed the hot hand, finding Godfrey in the post. Godfrey took care of the rest, as he did for much of the second half, converting in the paint to tie the score 71-71. SAU’s Paul Marandet was blocked on a potential game-winning shot, sending the game to an extra period.
The Lancers wasted little time taking the lead in overtime. Warner drove the lane and swished in a floater.
A minute later, Tyce Frank buried a 3-pointer for a 76-73 lead, but SAU answered with a triple of its own.
The teams traded baskets for the next minute until Godfrey powered his way to an and-1 with 1:32 left, handing the Lancers an 81-78 advantage.
Grace got a defensive stop on the next play, and Godfrey hit two free throws to extend the lead to five.
Down the stretch the Lancers hit 5-of-6 from the foul line to maintain their cushion, but SAU kept pace and trailed by three with 12.8 seconds remaining.
Grace was whistled for a foul during a 3-point attempt by Marandet on the next play, to which he calmly hit all three free throws to tie the game 88-88.
The Lancers had two shots on the final possession to win the game, but each shot only drew iron.
SAU took advantage of its renewed chance at the game and dominated the second OT. The Cougars outscored Grace 17-6 in the period, pulling away for an 11-point win. Marandet had 10 of those points as part of his huge night.
Godfrey shot 13-of-26 from the floor for his 36 points, hitting all 10 of his free throws. His 36 points were the fourth-most scored by a Crossroads League player this year.
Deaton had a trio of 3-pointers for 24 points to go along with seven boards. Warner had 12 points and five rebounds, and Frank scored eight points off the bench.
Braxton Linville tallied 7 points, 7 assists and 6 boards, and Schiele added five points and two assists.
The Lancers will face off with another Top 10 opponent on Saturday. Grace will travel to No. 6 Mt. Vernon Nazarene for a 3 p.m. tipoff, shortly after the women’s contest.