MARION – Grace’s women’s basketball team made a valiant upset bid against No. 22 Indiana Wesleyan on Tuesday.
Brooke Sugg made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the Crossroads League Tournament game to overtime. But the Lady Lancers (16-15) came up short in the extra period, falling 81-74 in the quarterfinals.
Kamryn Hostetler enjoyed a career night, putting up a personal-best 27 points to go along with four steals. Her previous career high was 19 points, also scored against IWU earlier this season.
Kyannah Stull also had a big night with her second career double-double. She racked up 23 points and a game-best 11 rebounds.
The loss shifts Grace’s focus to the NCCAA National Championships, hosted by Grace from March 13-16. The Lady Lancers, who have already qualified for the national tournament, may have regional games beforehand in preparation for NCCAA Nationals.
Grace’s offense was cold to start Tuesday’s quarterfinal. The Lady Lancers could muster just four points over the first 6:55, and the Wildcats (20-11) took advantage with an 11-4 lead.
The Lady Lancers fell behind by as many as nine in the period, but a late basket from Brooke Sugg trimmed the deficit to 17-10 at the end of the quarter.
As cold as Grace was offensively in the first quarter, the Lady Lancers flipped the script in the second period. Grace ripped off 23 points in the period.
Stull buried a pair of 3-pointers in the final two minutes to tie the game 33-33 at halftime.
For the half, Grace forced IWU into nine turnovers. The Lady Lancers, despite being outsized, had 20 points in the paint against the Wildcats.
The second half was hotly contested. Grace’s pesky defense continued to make IWU uncomfortable, and the Lady Lancers closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run.
Lexi Minix gave Grace a boost to end the period. She grabbed an offensive rebound and flipped up a miraculous shot that beat the buzzer and banked in, bringing Grace to within one at 48-47 as the game entered the fourth quarter.
Neither team scored for almost the first three minutes of the fourth, and the Lady Lancers missed multiple chances to take the lead.
Grace continued to battle, and Pam Miller found Hostetler for a 3-pointer in the corner for a 54-53 lead with 5:29 left in the game.
The Wildcats responded calmly with a 7-1 spurt to go ahead by five, but Stull converted an and-1 to keep Grace close.
IWU held a 61-58 lead in the final minute and had a chance to ice the win in regulation with a score. But Grace’s defense forced a turnover and gave the visitors a chance to extend the game.
Sugg made good on that chance. After a timeout, Sugg split a double team on the inbounds play and flipped up a high, arching 3-point shot that swished cleanly through the net with 4.1 seconds on the clock.
Grace’s stout defense did not allow the Wildcats to get a potential game-winning shot off before the final buzzer sounded.
The Wildcats shook off the disappointment to score four straight points to start overtime, and Grace never tasted the lead again. IWU pulled away for the final seven-point margin of victory.
Hostetler and Stull were the engines of Grace’s offense in overtime. The guards scored all 13 of the Lady Lancers’ points in the extra period, including eight points from Hostetler.
Grace shot 37 percent compared to 39 percent for IWU. The Lady Lancers also nabbed 11 steals and forced IWU into 18 turnovers. The Wildcats did own a significant 57-40 advantage on the glass.
Sugg scored 13 points, 5 boards and 2 assists, and Kaylie Warble added seven points and four rebounds.
Minix produced 2 points, 6 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Brooke Treadway chipped in 2 points, 5 boards and 2 steals.