Grace College’s quest for an NCCAA national championship came to an end on Thursday with an 83-61 loss to Emmanuel.
The Lancers’ offense could not get on track throughout the NCCAA Semifinal matchup as Grace shot just 34 percent from the floor.
Grace’s season will officially end on Saturday in the NCCAA third-place game against Trinity International.
Both teams struggled offensively over the first 13 minutes of action as the score was knotted 16-16. But the Lions (26-5) caught fire first, and Grace never caught up.
Emmanuel ended the half on a 17-8 run to lead 33-24 at halftime. The Lancers (20-14) shot a woeful 24 percent from the floor in the first half, including 2-of-11 from the 3-point line and 8-of-13 from the foul line.
Within two minutes of play in the second half, Emmanuel had built up a double-digit lead and never surrendered it. The Lions used an 11-1 charge — fueled by two 3’s and two fastbreak dunks — to open up a commanding 20-point edge at 51-31.
Grace did its best to rally, blitzing Emmanuel for 11 points in the span of 2:20. Erik Bowen ripped off seven of Grace’s 11 points in that run, and a basket by Tre Olive cut Emmanuel’s lead down to 12 with 5:04 remaining.
But Grace’s momentum ran out shortly after as the Lancers could produce only two points over the next 3:30, and the Lions pulled away for their spot in Saturday’s national championship game.
As a team, Grace shot 34 percent from the floor. The Lancers were poor from beyond the arc (3-of-20, 15 percent) and the foul line (14-of-26, 54 percent).
The Lions, on the other hand, hit 54 percent of their field goals. Emmanuel also outrebounded Grace by nine and nabbed 10 steals.
Erik Bowen led all players with 20 points, hitting 8-of-12 from the floor and grabbing seven rebounds. Chad Hoffer was the only other player in double figures with 11 points off the bench. Logan Irwin finished with seven points and seven assists, and Brandon Vanderhegghen finished with six points and seven boards.
See Grace College Athletics for more information.