WYOMING, Mich. – The host Grace Christian University Tigers defeated the Mount Mary University basketball team 59-54 today at the Aldrich Athletic Center. The Tigers trailed for a majority of the game then scored 26 points in the final quarter to move to 14-15 on the season and push the Blue Angels to 9-8.
The Tigers took the lead to begin the contest and stretch the score out to 11-5 at 4:17 when Megan Scholtens hit a mid-range jump shot. The Blue Angels then went on a 5-3 run to cut the GCU lead to 14-10 after the first quarter.
That momentum carried over into the second quarter when the Blue Angels went on a 9-0 run to open things up. Once the Tigers stifled that run by a GCU three-point field goal, MMU continued to pressure on offense outscoring their opponent 12-5 to finish the quarter and to grab a 31-22 lead at halftime.
The Blue Angels continued to push their offense and contain on defense. Three minutes into the second half, MMU took a 37-22 lead. The Blue Angels sustained that lead throughout the third, and with 30 seconds left to play in the quarter, took their largest lead of the game 46-30.
To open up the fourth quarter, the Tigers immediately hit a 3-point field goal, then scored off a steal on the subsequent play. Now down eight, GCU continued to chip away at the lead and at 6:24 were able to cut the deficit to three.
After a consistent back and forth, Rae Grubbs (Jr./Covington, Ind.) hit a pair of free throws at the 3:30 mark to give MMU a 54-50 lead. That score remained for the next two minutes of play, then GCU's Mehan Scholtens hit a 3-point field goal making it a one-point game.
With 30 seconds left in the game, the Tigers missed from three-point territory, when their post player grabbed the rebound and was fouled soon after. Maggie Long hit a pair of free throws to give the Tigers the lead. The Tigers then held out hitting 2-of-3 free throws and a field goal to win 59-54.
Grubbs led the Blue Angels on offense hitting 3-of-9 from outside and 4-of-5 from the free throw line for 19 points. Teammate Erica Williams (So./Bloomington, Ill) continues to roll recording her 11th double-double of the season. Williams scored 12 points and pulled in 19 rebounds against the Tigers.
"Obviously that's a tough pill to swallow," commented Mount Mary University Head Basketball Coach Marc Heidorf. "I thought we played a great, mentally strong game for 3 1/2 quarters. Many of the things that we executed in that stretch: taking care of the ball, attacking the paint, defensive rebounds, left us in the final four minutes."
The Blue Angels return to the court Mon. Feb. 11 when they head to Manitowoc, Wis. to take on Silver Lake College. The contest against the Lakers is scheduled for 7:00 pm, more information can be found at MtMaryAthletics.com.