The rivalry lived up to its billing as the Cougers of Kuyper College and the Tigers of Grace gave their fans their money’s worth in Tuesday night’s Cross Cup Game played at the Aldrich Athletic Center. When the last buzzer sounded the Tigers had come away with the Cross Cup trophy and a thrilling overtime victory, 76-70.
Both teams seemed stymied by the other’s defense for much of the first half. Coach Bailey received excellent play from his bench in the first half, highlighted by the rebounding of Nick Van Loo and Cameron Cramer, and a high flying, thunderous dunk by Travis Rader over the Cougers’ Mike Kragt (see video below). The Cougers, however, led at the break, 29-27.
The Tigers broke out well to start the second half, taking back the lead and going up by five, but they could never put the Cougers away. Kuyper found holes in the Tiger defense and eventually took the lead with about a minute and a half to play. With things looking bleak for the Tigers, sophomore Cameron Cramer hit nothing but net on a long three pointer to tie the game at 60 with 7.4 seconds left in regulation. The Tigers carried the emotion and momentum of Cramer’s shot into the overtime period, which they dominated at both ends of the court.
Cramer had a career game for the Tigers, coming off the bench and scoring a double/double with 27 points (leading all scorers) and 12 rebounds. It was the Tiger bench of Cramer, Rader, Nick Van Loo, Brad Rosenzweig, and Michael Miller that made the difference in the game for Coach Bailey as they outscored the starting five, 39-37, and outscored the Couger bench, 39-7. The Tigers dominated the boards, 61-38, as senior Greg Salmon led both teams with 13 rebounds. You can read the Mlive Press coverage here:
The Tigers are at home for Senior Day this Saturday as they hope to move to .500 on the season when they take on Silver Lake College at 4 pm.
As read on Mlive:
See thunderous dunk by Grace Bible player that landed on Sports Center
on January 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM, updated January 24, 2013 at 2:43 PM
Rader, a 6-foot-5 sophomore from Wayland High School, soared over a defender for a thunderous left-handed dunk that was featured Wednesday night and today on Sports Center’s plays of the day.
The dunk came in the first half following a turnover.
“I saw the open space,” Rader said, after receiving a skip pass from teammate Nick VanLoo, “and I knew I was going to dunk and my heart started racing. When I jumped, I don’t know, it just felt like I was flying.”
Rader had two previous dunks this season, “but nothing like this,” he said. “My phone’s just been blowing up today.”
Grace won the game in overtime 76-70.
Last night, Rader tweeted:
“# 4 on Sports Center top 10?!?! This is the peak! Letssss goooo!!!! Thanks everyone for the support!!! Dream come true!”