The Tigers let another big lead go in the second half and lost a 71-68 game to NAIA #4, Cornerstone University. The Tigers lead at the half 44-28 and were in control of the game from the start. The two teams exchanged baskets for the first 12 minutes of the second half with Grace keeping a double digit lead. The Golden Eagles, hit three consecutive three’s to close the gap to 4 with about three minutes remaining. Grace had numerous opportunities to extend their lead but shot just 4-9 from the line in the second half including missing the front end of the one and one twice. With the score tied at 68 with 37 seconds remaining, Cornerstone ran the shot clock down to 2 seconds and Bryan Pasciak drained a long three pointer to put the Golden Eagles up by three. Allen Durham had a good look at a three to tie but it rimmed out.
“This is a very hard loss tonight,” said Coach Gary Bailey. We did everything right tonight that we had worked on. We had a big lead but seemed overly cautious in the last eight minutes of the game. We committed 29 turnovers and still was in the game. We had an opportunity this week to take down two highly ranked NAIA teams, had big leads late, and lossed the games. We have to learn how to finish games.”
Allen Durham lead Grace with 17 points and 19 rebounds. John Oostema hit for 16 and Cory Jamieson 10. Ryan Dame and Ryan Krombeen each had 4 assists. Grace shot 62% from the field in the first half and 39% in the second. Grace held a rebounding edge of 45-34 and an edge in assists with 16 to CU’s 7. Grace blocked 5 shots and CU 0.
Grace now stands at 2-2 on the season and leaves Wednesday for a three game tournament in Grayson, KY.