Grace Battles No. 3 Purdue in Memorable Night
Wednesday night was an evening to remember for Grace’s men’s basketball team.
The Lancers clashed with NCAA powerhouse No. 3 Purdue in an exhibition game at Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers came away with the 98-51 victory in Purdue’s home opener.
This marked Grace’s second time playing at a Big Ten opponent; the Lancers played at Indiana University in 2009 at Assembly Hall.
Next up, Grace will immediately travel across the country to play a pair of games in Oregon over the weekend. The Lancers will play Bushnell on Friday and Oregon Tech on Saturday.
The Lancers used 13 players in the exhibition with no player seeing more than 24 minutes of action.
Wednesday’s game began with the Boilermakers canning a 3-pointer on the first possession. Elijah Malone responded with a triple on the next possession to even the score.
Purdue tried to pull away with nine unanswered points and led by 12 at 19-7.
But midway into the half, Grace made a surge. Jake Wadding threw down a dunk in traffic, which was followed up by a 3-pointer by Brett Sickafoose.
After two more defensive stops, Brycen Graber canned another 3-pointer to stun Purdue and slice the lead down to 23-19 with 7:53 left in the half.
The Boilermakers answered with six quick points, but Malone finished a reverse dunk on the next play to keep the lead down to eight.
Jake Wadding finished an and-1 with 5:18 on the clock, keeping Purdue slightly ahead 32-24.
But the Boilermakers erupted over the last five minutes before halftime, using an 18-4 run to seize momentum with a 50-28 advantage.
Grace held Purdue to 44 percent shooting in the half, but the Boilermakers drilled six triples to help their cause. Purdue also had a significant advantage at the free throw line, shooting 12 of 13 before halftime; Grace was held to three foul shots.
The Lancers struggled to get on the scoreboard to begin the second half. Grace was held scoreless for nearly five minutes, allowing Purdue to rip off 15 unanswered points.
The rest of the second half was played almost evenly between the two sides.
Gage Sefton and Sickafoose had strong minutes off the bench in the second half. The duo combined for 10 points in a two-minute span; each player hit a 3-pointer during Grace’s spurt.
Malone also showed his versatility with four more quick points before sitting down for the rest of the evening.
Purdue managed to increase its lead by 14 more points over the final five minutes after the Lancers went to their bench. Grace’s final points were a triple from freshman Ian Raasch.
Grace managed to hold Purdue’s high-powered offense to 44 percent shooting for the game, including a 2-of-14 effort on 3-pointers in the second half.
Purdue had a big advantage in free throws (27 attempts to 5) and turnovers (20 versus 7) in the game. Grace was muted to 32 percent shooting, including 19 percent on 3s (6 of 31).
Ian Scott was steady for Grace, pouring in 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block in 23 minutes. He shot 4 of 8 from the floor.
Malone tallied 9 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block, and Sickafoose added 8 points, 2 boards and 2 assists.
Wadding produced 5 points, 4 boards, 2 steals and 1 block, Brycen Graber tied for the game-high with six assists, and Sefton had 5 points, 2 boards and 2 assists.
Jakob Gibbs (4 points), Cade Gibbs (4 points) and Ian Raasch (3 points) also got in the scoring column during the exhibition outing.