Sophomore Rod Altidor sizes up the Cardinal defender.
Saginaw, MI – The Grace Tigers traveled to the eastside of the state tonight to attempt to upset the undefeated Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals (NCAA DII). Right off of the tip the Tigers seemed ready to play, battling the Cardinals back and forth for the first 20 minutes. Grace found themselves trailing by only two points (37-35) at the half after a spectacular coast to coast bucket by freshman Jared Bradford as the clock expired.
A pair of free throws by junior Cameron Cramer quickly tied the game up at 37 right at the start of the second half. The Cardinals then took the lead the next possession and kept it for the remainder of the game. Grace was able to cut the lead built up by the Cardinals to 9 points with less than 10 minutes remaining on a nifty 3-point play by sophomore Rod Altidor. From then on turnovers (12 in the second half) and sharp shooting from the Cardinals (10 of 19 from 3 in the second half) doomed the Tigers, resulting in a final score of 97-73.
“I was pleased at how hard we played and our enthusiasm, but some miscues on offense and missed assignments on defense took us out of the game in the second half,” said Coach Gary Bailey.
Cramer showed what he was capable of, putting up 21 points on 62% shooting on the Cardinals 6’9” big man Kalen Foreman. Junior Jake Blauwkamp continued his hot shooting streak, connecting on 5 of 8 three point attempts on his way to 16 points. Guards Nick Mascarro and Travis Rader also recorded double figures with 12 and 10, respectively. Grace outrebounded the Cardinals 39-26 overall, with Cramer recording 9, and Blauwkamp and Luke McKian each chipping in 5.
The Tigers return to action next week Thursday for the Midwest Regional Tip-Off held at Kuyper College, where they will take on #3 Northland International University.
Saturday’s consolation game of the Calvin College Tip Off Tournament vs. Kuyper College was crucial for the Tigers, and it may have been a defining point in this young season. After blowing a 19 point lead with 8 minutes left in last night’s game against College of Faith and failing to finish in several contests that were within their grasp this season, Grace was faced with one of those times when character is so important. “We did some self-examination as players, coaches, and as a team,” said Coach Gary Bailey. “You will find that some teams will begin to blame each other when things go wrong. But these guys stepped up, the coaches stepped up, and looked at what each of us could do better, and the result was a win today against a very good team,” said Bailey. “I’m really proud of these guys. This was a good win for us.”
The Tigers started an unusual and what seemed to be an undersized lineup against the Cougars but they played great defense and beat Kuyper to the basket with their speed as they jumped out to a quick 15-3 lead in the first 3 and a half minutes. Kuyper scored first on a 3 pointer by Sal Hermiz but the Tigers came back with 15 straight. This was the same Kuyper team that jumped out to an 11-2 lead last night against Calvin so the Tigers knew they could be explosive and were capable of scoring quickly. The Cougars chipped away in the next 10 minutes and drew within two points, 40-38, with 6:18 left in the first half. But that’s as close as Kuyper would get. When another collapse seemed possible the Tigers refused to let it happen, rolling off the next 8 points to boost the lead to 10. At halftime Grace held an 8 point advantage, 53-45. The second half saw the two teams play fairly even. Grace held their largest lead at the 15:43 mark when Jake Blauwkamp hit a 3 pointer to make the margin 18 points at 66-48. The spread stayed between 10 and 15 points until the last few seconds of the game.
The Tigers once again held a rebound advantage, 45-35, including 19 offensive boards. They also had 26 assists to Kuyper’s 17. Shooting percentages were fairly even. But the key stat, as it has been in all of Grace’s wins and losses, was turnovers. This time the Tigers came out on top. Kuyper committed 21 turnovers turning into 21 Tiger points while the Tigers had a season low of 10 turnovers resulting in 6 points for the Cougars. Grace also picked off a season high 14 steals. The Tigers put 5 players in double figures, led by freshman Jared Bradford with 16. Bradford was also named to the All-Tournament Team. Jake Blauwkamp and Travis Rader added 15 each. Lucas McKian had 14 and Cameron Cramer had 10. Rader led the team with 6 assists while Nick Mascorro had 5. McKian led the Tigers with 7 rebounds while Rod Altidor, Brad Rosenzweig, Bradford, and Blauwkamp all had 6.
The Tigers will have one practice to prepare for NCAA II Saginaw Valley State on Tuesday night at 7 pm in Saginaw. Tuesday’s game can be listened to live, by following this link: GBC vs. SVSU Audio
Video Highlights from this weekend can be seen below:
Two familiar downfalls plagued the Tigers in Friday night’s loss to College of Faith at Calvin College’s Van Noord Arena: turnovers and failure to finish. Leading 70-51 with 8 minutes left in the game, Grace imploded at both ends of the court as the College of Faith finished the game with a 35-11 run against the Tigers.
The loss was especially disappointing because Grace held an edge in shooting percentage (55%-42%), 3 point percentage (45%-35%), and rebounds (38-32), but 27 turnovers resulted in 27 points for College of Faith resulting in a 73-47 shot advantage for the Warriors. “It’s hard to believe you could lose a game the way we shot and rebounded tonight until you see that we gave them 26 more shots than we had and gave them 27 points off turnovers,” said Coach Gary Bailey.
Grace was led in scoring by guards Jared Bradford (Sparta HS) with 23 and Nick Mascorro (Tri-Unity Christian) with 18. Brad Rosenzweig (Forest Hills Eastern) and Lucas McKian (Fremont HS) each had 8 rebounds. The Warriors were led by Mike Campbell with 21 points.
The Tigers play in Saturday’s consolation game at 1 pm against Kuyper College, a 105-86 loser to host Calvin College. You can listen to the game live on your computer by following this link: Grace vs. Kuyper LIVE
Listen to the Tigers take on College of Faith at 5:30 PM by clicking the link below.
LISTEN LIVE – GRACE TIGER NETWORK
The Tigers were able to pull out a 10 point victory back on November 8th against the Warriors in the Grace Charity Tournament. The winner of tonight’s game will advance to tomorrow’s championship at 3:00 PM to face the winner of the second game, Calvin College or Kuyper College.
Junior Travis Rader drives past the Wildcat defender. (Photo Credit: Cory Genovese)
Marquette, MI – The Tigers trip to the U.P. ended with a 90-72 loss to Northern Michigan University (NCAA II). The Tigers fell behind 18-6 after the first five minutes and would settle in and play even after that. The Tigers closed the gap to six on several occasions but could not get any closer after digging the early hole. Brad Rosenzweig led Grace with 15 points and Jared Bradford had 12 as the only two Tigers to reach double figures.
NMU won the rebound battle 38-32 and edged the Tigers in assists 15-14. The Tigers committed 9 turnovers in the first half and only 3 in the second half. NMU outshot the Tigers hitting an astounding 57% to 44% for the game.
“We came out a little flat and that was the difference,” said Coach Gary Bailey. “We had to play catchup the entire game. This was their first home game of the year and they had a little more energy than we did. With our schedule heavy with away games this year, we will have to do a better job of going starting strong. I felt like our bench played well and we learned a lot as coaches tonight.”
The Tigers will be back in action on Friday night the 22nd as they take part in the Calvin College Tournament. They will open with College of Faith in the opening game.
The Tigers travel to Marquette, MI to take on the Wildcats of Northern Michigan University (NCAA DII) tonight at 7:00 PM. The game can be followed live through the avenues below:
Live Stats: HERE
The Tigers were at home Tuesday night to face NCCAA Midwest Region foe, Great Lakes Christian College. The Crusaders had a lot of new faces and some sharp shooting guards who shot 8/18 from three point range in the first half, led by Michael Vickers’ 3/4 from beyond the arc.
The Tigers first half was plagued by the same malady that led to previous downfalls this season — 10 turnovers. They built an 11 point lead, 33-22, and then promptly blew it with turnovers, and went into the half with just a one point lead, 39-38. Great Lakes took a two point lead early in the second half and the stage was set for another disappointment. That’s when the Tigers dug deep, led by junior captain, Jake Blauwkamp (Grandville HS), whose poise and leadership paved the way for effective ball movement on offense (the Tigers shot 59% from the field in the second half) and some solid stops on defense, forcing Great Lakes deep into the shot clock. The Tigers had only 3 turnovers in a second half that saw highlights from Blauwkamp, drawing a charge, sophomore transfer Rod Altidor’s (Rhema Bible College) monster block off the backboard of a Crusader layup attempt, and one of junior Travis Rader’s (Wayland Union HS) patented thunder dunks on a steal and lead pass from Blauwkamp. You can see the video for both the block and dunk below the article.
Coach Gary Bailey played every Tiger in the second half, giving his bench a reward for a solid game by his top 10. “I am so pleased with the character of this team,” said Bailey, after the game. “The coaching staff feels like we made a giant stride tonight toward where we want to go. We need to build on this last 20 minutes of basketball and continue to get better.”
Perri Vaden led Great Lakes with 25 points and 9 rebounds. The Tigers put four players in double figures, led by Blauwkamp’s 19 points. Rader added 16 points, freshman Jared Bradford (Sparta HS) contributed 12 points, and junior Cameron Cramer (Ida HS) had 10 points. Cramer led the Tigers with 7 rebounds as Grace held a 38-30 advantage on the boards.
The Tigers are off this weekend but face a long road trip to Marquette where they will face NCAA DII Northern Michigan University at 7:30 on Monday, November 16.
Radio Announcer Ryan Krombeen and guest commentator David Steenstra this past weekend.
Can’t make it to tonight’s home game against Great Lakes Christian College? There will be a live audio broadcast of the game available on the Grace Tiger Network. The game will take place at 7:00 PM, with the pre-game show beginning at 6:45 PM ET.
Follow this link for access to the broadcast: LIVE AUDIO vs. GLCC
The Tigers have established a pattern in this young season of only five games that they don’t want to continue — failing to finish. That malady left them on the short end of a 103-97 loss to Kuyper College on Saturday afternoon in the championship game of Grace’s Holiday Charity Tournament. College of Faith downed Crossroads College in the consolation game played earlier in the afternoon.
Coach Gary Bailey was perplexed as the Tigers showed moments of brilliance and then seemed lost. “We won’t be consistent winners until we learn to take care of the ball. Turnovers killed us tonight as they have in every one of our losses this year.” Indeed the Tigers held the advantage over the Cougars in almost every other stat line. Grace shot 57% from the field to the Cougars 49%. The Tigers outrebounded Kuyper 41-30 and held a 26-18 advantage in assists. But Grace committed 21 turnovers to Kuyper’s 7 and that was the difference in the game. More importantly, they seemed to come at crucial moments, either stopping a Tiger come back or preventing them from lengthening a lead a putting the Cougars away.
The road doesn’t get easier in the next five weeks as the Tigers face the most difficult part of their schedule. They will be home on Tuesday night against Great Lakes Christian College at 7 pm but then face a brutal schedule of NAIA, NCAA III, NCAA II, and NCAA I schools.
Tigers get the win against College of Faith 87-77 in the Grace Charity Tournament. The Tigers will play Kuyper College in the championship game at 3:00pm on Saturday. Story to follow.