Grand Rapids, MI – The Tigers opened their 2012-13 season with a 82-64 loss to NAIA #11 Davenport University. The Panthers jumped out to an early lead only to see the Tigers come storming back behind some hot shooting by Greg Salmon from behind the arc. Salmon ended the night with a team high 15 points. DU would end the first half hitting a three at the buzzer to extend their lead to 14 at the intermission.
The second would see Davenport hit the first 7 points to run the lead to 21 at 54-33. The Tigers would chip away at the lead to cut it to 9 points at the 8:24 mark 62-53. Grace could not shut down the high flying Panthers as they would once again extend the lead.
“I was actually pretty happy with this team for our first game,” said Coach Gary Bailey. “I know we are young and we will have some growing pains but I saw some pretty good things tonight against one of the best NAIA programs in the country. They are big and athletic and we controlled the game at times but need to learn to do that for the entire game.
Nick Mascorro scored 13 and Michael Miller 10 for Grace. Mascorro also led Grace with 6 assists and Miller with 4. Zach Schutte led Grace with 4 rebounds. The Panthers were led by JaVontae Ford with 22, Gabe VanderJagt with 15 and Thomas Drew 13.
The Panthers out-rebounded Grace 34-26. The Tigers shot 46.9% from the floor with DU at 50%.