Grace won their 15th game of the season and their 8th victory in the last 9 games as they downed cross town rival Kuyper College Tuesday night on the Cougers’ home court. It was the Tigers’ best offensive game of the year as they dominated the post featuring 18 points each from the Schutte brothers, Aaron and Zach. “We moved the ball well most of the time tonight,” said Coach Gary Bailey, “and we definitely did a better job of taking care of the ball than we have in many games this year.” 17 offensive rebounds and 52% shooting from the field also contributed to the Tiger offense.
Defensively the Tigers followed the game plan. “We know they have some great outside shooters,” said Coach Dan George, “and we knew they would make some threes, but our goal was to stop their penetration, limit them to one highly contested shot, and make that come from outside the paint. I thought we did a good job at that, especially in the first half.”
The rebound margin was a big factor in the win as the Tigers had as many offensive boards as Kuyper had defensive rebounds. The Tigers pulled down 50% of the boards on the Cougers’ end of the floor and 83% on their own glass for a 42-22 margin. Greg Salmon led the Tigers with 10 rebounds. Salmon’s 12 points and Brad Rosenzweig’s 10 points off the bench joined the Schutte brothers in double figures.
The Tigers showed great unselfish play as three players, Jake Blauwkamp, Nick Mascorro, and Aaron Schutte, shared the assist leadership with 4 each.
The Tigers appear to be making their usual late season charge as Coach Bailey readies his team for tournament play. Their next game, and last regional contest of the regular season, is on Friday at Northland International University in Dunbar, Wisconsin. A win there would give the Tigers the #1 seed in the NCCAA Midwest Regional Tournament which they host at the Aldrich Center beginning Thursday, February 21.