The 2021 NCCAA National Championships began according to plan for Grace College’s men’s basketball team.
The Lancers routed SAGU American Indian College 97-63 on Wednesday at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
The win propels Grace to the NCCAA national semifinals on Thursday at 8:45 p.m. Grace will take on Northwestern (Minn.) for a chance to play in the national championship.
Grace began the game with a 3-pointer from Jakob Gibbs, and the Lancers led the rest of the way.
The score remained close for the first nine minutes before Grace began to flex its muscles.
Grace rattled off eight quick points to open up a 16-point edge and later led 39-22.
The Warriors pulled back within 10, but Grace still remained on top 48-36 at halftime.
Grace could not be stopped inside the paint, scoring 26 points in the lane. The Lancers shot 50 percent from the field and 43 percent on 3-pointers, making up for a 56 percent outing from the foul line.
Grace also had a dominant plus-15 edge in rebounds.
The second half was much of the same. Grace eventually pulled ahead by 20 as the team’s length and athleticism began to wear out the Warriors.
Grace used its bench liberally in the final 10 minutes of the game, preserving energy for the tournament.
The Lancers led by as many as 34 and cruised to the final 97-63 victory.
Grace shot 55 percent from the floor and 44 percent from beyond the arc. The Warriors made 35 percent overall and 47 percent from deep.
The Lancers dominated the glass with a 50-23 advantage.
Davidson had a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards, and Wadding nearly had his own with 22 points and nine rebounds.
Gibbs had the second double-double of the night for Grace with 15 points, 10 boards and 4 assists, and Matt Jennings scored 14 points with eight assists.