Grace’s championship aspirations for 2015 were dashed on Wednesday when Dallas Baptist upset the Lancers 63-55.
The Lancers (22-12) shot a paltry 28 percent from the floor and let a late lead slip against the sixth-seeded Patriots (16-15) at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
Dallas Baptist ended the game on an 11-0 run over the final three minutes as Grace went cold from the floor. A Logan Irwin basket put Grace on top 55-52 with 3:00 to play. But Grace missed its final six field goals as well as its last two free throws over the last three minutes, enabling the Patriots to earn a spot into the national semifinals.
Grace’s defense dominated the early stages of Wednesday’s game. The Patriots were held to just two points over the first eight minutes of the game as Grace led 11-2.
Despite shooting just 33 percent from the floor in the opening half, Grace still claimed a 28-20 lead at halftime.
Midway into the second half, the Patriots made a push to take their first lead of the game. DBU used a 10-1 run to turn an eight-point deficit into a one-point lead, going ahead 46-45 with 9:47 on the clock.
The lead changed hands within one possession for the ensuing nine minutes until the Patriots’ game-changing run over the last three minutes.
Grace struggled mightily with its shooting touch in the second half at 22 percent, making 6-of-27 from the floor after halftime. The Lancers and Patriots each had 15 turnovers in the game.
Brandon Vanderhegghen led Grace in scoring with 12 points to go along seven boards and two steals. Caleb Featherston just missed a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds, and Irwin tallied 10 points and two steals.
The Lancers will play in the consolation bracket on Thursday at 10:15 a.m. against Simpson University.