By Josh Neuhart
Grace College Sports Information
WINONA LAKE – Grace’s men’s basketball team flexed its offensive muscles in a 98-65 win over Ohio Christian on Thursday.
Six Lancers scored in double figures during Grace’s home opener at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
Grace was efficient offensively in every way against the Trailblazers (0-1). The Lancers (2-0) shot 58 percent from the floor and 41 percent on 3-pointers.
Grace also had 26 assists and 10 turnovers, all while holding OCU to 36 percent shooting and 30 percent on triples.
Grace could not have started better in the home opener. The Lancers scored the game’s first seven points, starting with a jumper by Frankie Davidson.
A few minutes later, freshman Jake Wadding threw down back-to-back dunks after Trailblazer turnovers to put Grace ahead 13-2.
Ohio Christian burned an early timeout, but Grace still pulled ahead 20-2 by scoring nearly at will against the Trailblazers’ zone defense.
Freshman center Elijah Malone provided a spark off the bench, scoring seven points with a 3-pointer to keep Grace’s momentum.
The Lancers continued to maintain a comfortable cushion and went into halftime with a commanding 53-29 lead.
Grace shot 64 percent from the floor before halftime while holding OCU to 34 percent shooting.
Seven players made multiple shots in the first half for Grace in a balanced effort. Matt Jennings (12 points) and Haden Deaton (11 points) led Grace’s scoring, and Wadding was a perfect 4 of 4 for nine points.
Seven minutes into the second half, Grace had built its lead up to 30. The Lancers held that margin for the rest of the game, substituting liberally throughout the second half.
Jennings led all players with 18 points, shooting an efficient 8 for 11 from the floor, adding seven assists and two steals.
Malone shot 7 of 8 for 15 points in his collegiate home debut, adding three blocks. Deaton was also a marksman with 15 points on 4 of 5 shooting on 3-pointers.
Cade Gibbs shot 7 of 11 for 14 points, Wadding only missed one shot to score 10 points with five points and three assists, and Myles Johnson finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Davidson had a well-rounded stat line of 6 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, and Jakob Gibbs added eight points and four assists. Jaylen Reese and Drew Beck also made their collegiate debuts for the Lancers with Beck handing out two dimes.
The Lancers will be on the road Tuesday with a road matchup at Siena Heights. Next weekend, Grace will host the Hoops for Hope with a home game on Friday and Saturday (Nov. 13-14).