INDIANA TECH WOMEN 90, GRACE 76
In the fourth quarter on Tuesday, Grace’s women’s basketball team was within four points of No. 4 Indiana Tech.
But the Lady Lancers (4-1) sputtered late on the road, allowing the Warriors (3-1) to claim a 90-76 victory.
Vironnica Drake was sensational on the night, a day after being named the NCCAA National Player of the Week. Drake poured in a career-high 32 points to go along with 11 rebounds and two steals.
Kyannah Stull also was sharp, hitting five 3-pointers for 20 points.
The Warriors shot 54 percent as a team, including a 14-of-32 performance (44 percent) from the 3-point line. Grace, on the other hand, shot just 37 percent overall.
The first quarter started with Grace holding a slight edge. The Lady Lancers led 14-13 after an and-1 by Drake, but the Warriors were about to erupt.
Indiana Tech ended the period with momentum, outscoring Grace by 13 points over the final 4:30.
The Warriors’ run continued into the second quarter; the Warriors went on a 32-11 charge spanning between the quarters to open up a seemingly comfortable 45-24 lead.
But Grace refused to surrender. Maddie Ryman gave the Lady Lancers a spark by burying back-to-back triples off the bench.
Grace still trailed 55-38 at halftime. The Warriors shot 67 percent from the floor in the first half and hit eight 3-pointers.
The third quarter belonged to Grace, however. Drake powered the Lady Lancers in the period with 14 points, and Grace went on an 18-8 run to stun the home team.
Lexi Minix canned a 3-pointer, and the Warriors were forced to call timeout as their lead had disappeared to eight with 3:12 remaining in the third.
Drake ended the third quarter with a pair of free throws to close the gap to six at 69-63.
Stull hit two more foul shots to start the fourth as the Lady Lancers trailed by only four. But Grace’s offensive sputtered down the stretch.
The Lady Lancers only made three of their 14 shots in the fourth quarter, allowing the Warriors to gain separation. Indiana Tech drilled five triples in the quarter to squelch any potential late rally.
Drake shot 12-of-22 from the floor for her 32 points, also hitting 7-of-8 from the foul line.
Ryman tallied 8 points, 2 assists and 1 steal, and Minix added 5 points, 4 boards and 2 steals.
“The first half we got away from our style and system. But we refocused in the third quarter to do what we do. We always feel like we are never out of a game because of how hard we play,” said Grace head coach Dan Davis. “Give the girls a lot of credit for pulling back into the game, but Tech hit some big shots in the fourth quarter, and we couldn’t get our buckets to fall. It’s a great game to learn from, build and get better quickly. We look forward to getting back home for the Hoops for Hope!”
The Lady Lancers return home this weekend for the Hoops for Hope, which raises funds each year for cancer care in the community. Grace will play Grace Christian on Friday at 6 p.m. and Holy Family on Saturday at 2 p.m.
TIPPECANOE VALLEY GIRLS 52, CULVER ACADEMY 18
After a slow start on the shores of frosty Lake Maxincuckee, Tippecanoe Valley turned up the heat in a blowout win.
Hayley Backus led a trio of Vikings (2-0) with 17 points. Sidney Wagner had 15 points and Kaydence Mellott dropped in a career-high 13 points. Emma Craig chipped in seven points.
The Valley JV also came through with a solid win, 61-16. Molly Moriarty paced Valley with 17 points and Corinna Stiles added 13 points.