TRITON 38, ELKHART CHRISTIAN 25
Whytnie Miller led the Trojans with 15 points and eight rebounds in the victory at the Trench.
Triton used a 19-2 run to put away the Eagles, which trailed by just three, 18-15, at the half.
Kinsey Atkins had eight points and three steals and Emma Hepler had six points and two swipes for the Trojans. Abbey McKibbin and Shealey Skaggs had eight points apiece for ECA.
GRACE 95, OLIVET NAZARENE 93
Grace’s women’s basketball team battled back from a 17-point deficit to upset No. 20 Olivet Nazarene on the road.
Vironnica Drake scored the game-winning basket with 4.9 seconds remaining, lifting the Lady Lancers to a wild 95-93 victory on Thursday.
Grace (10-2) is off to its best start in program history. The Lady Lancers notched their second straight Top 25 upset and moved into the “receiving votes” section of the NAIA Top 25 Poll on Wednesday.
The Tigers (10-3) and Lady Lancers both employed their own version of a full court press throughout the game, leading to constant momentum swings and fast-paced action.
Grace struggled at the onset with the Tigers’ pressure, committing 13 turnovers in the first quarter.
Olivet Nazarene (ONU) scored eight straight points midway through the first quarter, but Grace kept the Tigers close. ONU converted a layup in the closing seconds of the quarter to go ahead 26-19.
The Tigers opened the second quarter with eight unanswered points to put Grace in a 15-point hole. Grace’s deficit grew to 17 with 3:24 left in the first half with the score at 46-29.
But the Lady Lancers found life to end the half. Grace held the Tigers to just two more points for the final three minutes; the Lady Lancers enjoyed an 11-2 run to slice ONU’s lead down to 48-40 at halftime.
Maddie Ryman had 10 points for Grace at halftime, and Drake added nine.
The third quarter was played evenly. The Lady Lancers managed to come within three points late in the stanza after two Drake free throws, but the Tigers scored two quick layups to extend the cushion to 72-65.
The Tigers began to show signs of cracking early in the fourth quarter. Kamryn Hostetler, who dazzled throughout the fourth quarter, hit a 3-pointer and a layup to bring Grace to within two.
Ryman tied the game at 79-79 with a layup with just under six minutes to play, but the Tigers jumped ahead by five after hitting two 3-pointers.
Drake responded with a triple of her own, and Brooke Treadway tied the score with a layup under the hoop. Hostetler buried a 3-pointer for a 90-87 lead with 1:58 on the clock, but the Tigers answered with a trey to tie the score.
Treadway scored again in the paint, but ONU hit yet another 3-pointer to go ahead by one with 48 seconds to play.
Ryman hit 1-of-2 from the foul line to even the score 93-93, and Kyannah Stull grabbed the offensive board to give Grace a chance to win the game. However, Drake missed a driving shot with 16 seconds left.
ONU raced up the floor to set up a potential winning play, but Stull and Drake alertly double-teamed the ballhandler to force an errant pass. Treadway intercepted the ball and passed ahead to Drake for a fastbreak layup with 4.9 seconds on the clock.
The Tigers, out of a timeout, tried a post move in the final seconds to tie the game. The shot circled the rim for what seemed like an eternity before harmlessly falling to the floor.
“This was a big win for us on the road. Olivet is a really good basketball team with how hard they play and their style. For us to handle that pressure and make plays late in the game was huge,” said Grace head coach Dan Davis. “Our resiliency all game was key. Our girls fought and never panicked. I just love coaching these young ladies.”
Hostetler scored 13 of her game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a trio of 3-pointers to go along with three assists and four steals.
Drake produced 21 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists, Ryman poured in 18 points off the bench with three steals on 6-of-9 shooting.
Treadway made 6-of-7 from the floor for 12 points, adding 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks, and Stull added 14 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
For the game, Grace committed 29 turnovers — just one coming in the crucial fourth quarter, however. Grace shot 54 percent from the floor, 45 percent on 3-pointers and 83 percent on free throws.
The Lady Lancers are off until next week, returning home on Dec. 20 to play Concordia at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.