Grace dominated the Crusaders of Great Lakes Christian College in the Tigers’ home opener Monday night with a final score of 93-52 but it wasn’t pretty in the first half. Head Coach Gary Bailey made his point with his starting five after the Tigers began in sluggish fashion. The point was take care of the ball, hustle all the time, and be a real “starter” by showing leadership at the beginning of the game OR you won’t play. No player had more than six minutes in the first half with the exception of freshman Jake Blauwkamp as Bailey played all twenty on the roster in the first half and still led the Crusaders 35-24 at the break.
The second half was a different story as the starting five began with a 12-0 run sparked by pressure defense and some good passing on offense. Matt Kurtz led the Tigers with 15 points, while Cory Jamieson and John Oostema added 10 and 14 respectively. Ryan Krombeen and freshman Travis Rader had 4 rebounds each, Rader getting his in only 6 minutes of play. Eighteen Tigers hit the scoring column and Grace held a rebound margin of 34-25.
The win marked the Tigers 60th consecutive NCCAA II victory and Coach Gary Bailey’s 150th win.
GBC travels to Grayson, KY on Wednesday to compete in the Super 8 Classic hosted by Kentucky Christian University. The Tigers play the host school on Thursday, NAIA College of the Ozarks on Friday, and the national tournament runner-up from a year ago, Valley Forge Christian College on Saturday night.