Lancers Topple No. 14 St. Francis on the Road

*pictured is Logan Irwin earlier this season for Grace **photo taken by Jeff Nycz

Grace’s men’s basketball team may have entered Saturday’s game against #14 St. Francis winless in the Crossroads League. But the Lancers picked a good time for their first CL victory, upsetting the league-leading Cougars, 62-56.

The Lancers gave the Cougars (13-5; 5-1 CL) their first league defeat of the season thanks to a suffocating defensive effort. St. Francis had just one player (Scott Kohne) in double figures for scoring, shooting 43 percent from the field against the Lancers (9-8; 1-5 CL).

Although St. Francis led the entire opening half, the Cougars’ lead never grew more than five until the last two minutes.

Grace went cold over the final 5:00 of the half and scored four points. St. Francis used that momentum to seize a 30-22 advantage at halftime.

Logan Irwin sparked the Lancers to start the second half, ripping off seven points over the first 2:42 of the half. A 3-pointer from Niko Read capped off a 10-0 run as Grace regained the lead at 32-30.

The game remained tight with Grace holding a slight 45-44 lead. A late defensive stand from the Lancers helped turn the tide of the contest, however. The Cougars were held to two points over nearly five minutes down the stretch, allowing Grace to open up an eight-point advantage at 54-46 with 2:42 to play.

The Cougars did their best to claw back into contention, sending Grace to the foul line over the final minutes. St. Francis cut the deficit to three with 36 seconds remaining, but free throws from Caleb Featherston and Brandon Vanderhegghen helped ice the victory.

Grace had a sharp shooting eye in the second half, making 13-of-24 from the floor after halftime. The win was Grace’s second of the season over an NAIA Top-25 team after upsetting No. 23 Ashford on Dec. 31.

Logan Irwin led all players with 15 points, and Jared Treadway tallied 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting to go along with a game-high nine rebounds.

Caleb Featherston added nine points and four boards, Niko Read had eight points, Brandon Vanderhegghen produced eight points and three assists, and Greg Miller tallied eight points and nine rebounds.

The Lancers host a pair of league games next week, including Marian on Tuesday night and Huntington on Saturday on Saturday.

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