The Tigers lost their 5th consecutive game tonight falling to Cornerstone University 85-75 in a packed Aldrich Center. The Tigers and Golden Eagles battled for a full forty minutes. Grace went into the locker room with a 40-36 lead only to see it vanish in the first two minutes of the second half. “The last thing I told our guys before we left the locker room was that we know that Cornerstone would make a good run in the second half,” said Coach Bailey. “I challenged the team to stand their ground and not panic and let the game slip away.” The Golden Eagles did make an early run but the Tigers could not make a run of their own to expand their lead. The score battled back and forth until CU went ahead to stay on three straight long three’s.
“I was amazed at how far some of those shots were but they fell. We knew they were a good shooting team but I was impressed with their range tonight. Cornerstone is one of the best teams in the NAIA every year and they showed why tonight. I was really proud of our kids and the way they played a full 40 minutes. That is our goal for the second half of the year and we met that goal tonight,” said Bailey.
CU connected for 8 of 13 three’s in the second half and 11 of 21 for the game. CU put four players in double figures with Jake Plite and Wes Hudson leading the way 18 each. The Tigers were led by Zach Schutte with 17 and Nick Mascorro with 16. Freshman BJ VanLoo added 10. BJ VanLoo pulled down a team high 7 rebounds for Grace while Nick Mascorro dished out 5 assists.
The Tigers won the battle on the boards 39-32. The Tigers shot 46% from the floor compared to 51% for Cornerstone.
The Tigers leave for Orlando, FL after the new year to play in the Florida Christian University Holiday Tournament on January 10-12.