Grace Men’s Basketball Team Continues Upset Trend, Tackles No. 20 Marian
The Lancers registered their second straight Top 25 upset, taking down No. 20 Marian 52-51 at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center on Tuesday.
Grace led by as many as 21 points in the second half against the Knights (8-3, 4-2 Crossroads League) and held on through a nervy final two minutes for the victory.
The Lancers (10-8, 2-5 CL) used smothering defense to limit Marian to 36-percent shooting for the game. Greg Miller paced Grace with a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Offense was at a premium in the first half. Grace used a plus-nine advantage on the boards in the opening period to claim a 24-16 lead at halftime. The Lancers scored 10 of their 24 points in the paint.
Marian underwent a major scoring drought for an 11-minute stretch. Grace’s defense held the Knights without a point for the final 6:02 of the first half and the first 5:02 of the second half. Three straight 3-pointers from Niko Read lifted Grace to a 37-16 advantage with 15:19 to play.
The Knights slowly built momentum from that point, however, using a 24-10 run to cut Grace’s cushion to five points with five minutes to play.
It was Grace’s turn to have a scoring drought as the team’s offense went dry over the final minutes. Three points from Logan Irwin was the team’s only production over the final 4:22, but the Lancers’ defense held stout. Grace went just 1-of-7 from the foul line down the stretch.
Marian had a last-gasp fullcourt heave to potentially win the game, but the shot was well off the mark.
For the game, Grace outrebounded Marian 37-28. Caleb Featherston grabbed eight boards to go along with nine points. The Lancers made 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and 7-of-18 from the foul line (39 percent).
Greg Miller shot 5-of-11 from the floor for his 16 points, and Niko Read finished with 13 points.
The Lancers are now 3-3 against NAIA Top 25 opposition this season. After starting the league schedule 0-5, Grace has rebounded with wins over then-No. 14 St. Francis and now No. 20 Marian to move into seventh place in the CL standings. Grace will hope for its third straight upset on Saturday when the team hosts No. 24 Huntington at the MOCC at 3 p.m.