The Timberwolves of Northwood University (NCAA II – GLIAC) downed the Tigers Thursday night in Midland, 73-63. Northwood jumped out to an early 15-4 lead but the Tigers fought back with a 20-8 run of their own to take a 24-23 lead with 3:12 left in the first half. Northwood hit a couple of long three pointers to finish the half with a 33-27 lead.
The Timberwolves asserted their size advantage in the second half and pulled away to a margin of 14 points with 5:33 to play but the Tigers fought back again. Down 7 at 70-63 with 56 seconds to play the Tigers got a good look at 3 pointer that would have narrowed the margin to 4 but senior John Oostema’s shot rattled out.
The Tigers had to be cheered by their performance against as tough an opponent as they have faced all year. Grace cut their turnovers in half from the total against Ohio Christian on Tuesday and played with a lot of confidence on offense. “Our goal is always to win,” said Coach Gary Bailey, “but we got better tonight, and that gives me some satisfaction. I don’t remember when I’ve felt this good about a loss.”
Junior Zach Schutte (Calvin Christian) and junior Ryan Dame (Wayland) picked up where they left off on Tuesday. Schutte led the Tigers with 17 points while Dame and junior Randy Jefferson (Grand Rapids Union) led the team with 5 rebounds. Senior Cory Jamieson (Wayland), with 12 points, and senior John Oostema (Grand Rapids Christian) with 11 points also hit double figures for the Tigers.