WINONA LAKE, Ind. - To cap off her tremendous 2012-13 campaign, Juaneice Jackson earned national accolades from both the NAIA and NCCAA.
Jackson became the first Grace women’s basketball player to earn national honors from the NAIA with her Second Team All-American award from the NAIA to go along with an NCCAA First Team All-American honor.
Jackson rewrote the record books during her junior season, averaging 18.5 points per game in leading Grace’s offense. She recorded the most total points in a season (665) and eclipsed 1,000 career points on Jan. 31.
For the season, Jackson set the record for the most field goals made and attempted and the most 3-pointers made in program history. Her 239 made field goals shattered the previous record of 196 held by Cheryl Myers in 1991-92. She also drilled 74 shots from the 3-point line to top Amy Mitchell’s mark of 68 treys in 1994-95.
So far in her three-year career, Jackson has amassed 1,244 points which ranks No. 7 for Grace’s all-time leading scorers. Tracie Mezera (2000-04) is Grace’s top scorer in the record books with 1,632 points.
Jackson picked up First Team All-Crossroads League honors at the conclusion of the regular season. She was also a two-time NCCAA Player of the Week and a three-time Crossroads League Player of the Week.
In addition, Allison Kauffman earned her first national award when she was named honorable mention for NCCAA All-American at the season's conclusion.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. - In the seventh-place game of the 2013 NCCAA National Championships, Roberts Wesleyan’s women’s basketball team held on late to defeat host Grace 59-55 on Friday.
The Redhawks made less than 40 percent of their shot attempts, but they also held the Lady Lancers to 34 percent shooting in their victory.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair with neither team leading by more than four points.
With a minute remaining in the half, Grace scored four quick points to even the count at 28-28 heading into the halftime break.
Although Roberts Wesleyan held the Lady Lancers to 35 percent from the floor in the opening half, the Redhawks hurt their own cause with 11 turnovers. Juaneice Jackson paced the Lady Lancers with 12 first-half points.
Six minutes into the second half, Sarah Feasby’s driving shot with 14:21 to play lifted Grace to a 38-35 lead, but that margin would prove to be the last lead for Grace.
Roberts Wesleyan regained the lead with a 9-0 run and held off a late push from Grace to secure the win.
Samantha Courtney led the Redhawks off the bench with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting, and Marissa Bunce added 11 points and six assists.
Jackson earned scoring honors in the game with 21 points and three assists, and Allison Kauffman added 12 points and nine rebounds.
After the game’s conclusion, Juaneice Jackson and the Redhawks’ Marissa Sell were honored as 2013 NCCAA First Team All-Americans.
The loss ends the careers of Grace seniors Emily Bidwell, Jayla Starks and Rianne Aguilar. The trio won 66 games over the past four years – the highest four-year total in Lady Lancer history. Grace won a program-record 20 wins in 2011-12 and also appeared in the NAIA Division II poll for much of the last two seasons.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. - An efficient performance from third-seeded Cedarville University’s women’s basketball team resulted in a 71-57 victory over the host Grace College on Thursday in the consolation bracket.
The Yellow Jackets made 46 percent of their field goal attempts and placed four players in double-digit scoring to bounce back from an upset loss on Wednesday.
Although Grace did force Cedarville into 19 turnovers, the Yellow Jackets outperformed the Lady Lancers in nearly every other statistical category.
Cedarville held a dominant 43-26 advantage in rebounding and recorded 20 assists on 25 made field goals. Conversely, Grace struggled with their shooting touch by making less than 40 percent of their shots each half and 3-of-15 (20 percent) from the 3-point line.
The Yellow Jackets excelled from the onset of the game to claim an 18-8 lead. Juaneice Jackson did her best to erase Grace’s deficit by tallying seven points in the final 2:52 of the half, but Cedarville still owned a 33-28 lead at the break.
A quick steal and fastbreak layup from Jayla Starks in the first minute of the second half brought the Lady Lancers to within three at 33-30. But Cedarville’s Raegan Ryan scored on the next two possessions, and Grace did not come closer than one possession of the Yellow Jackets’ score again.
Ryan paced the Yellow Jacket attack with 18 points and five assists, and Deborah Gordon added 14 points off the bench. Kayla Linkous and Kayla Jenerette also scored 12 points for Cedarville.
Jackson was the lone double-digit scorer for Grace with a game-best 25 points and five steals. Allison Kauffman scored nine points, Emily Bidwell added six points, and Kelsey Sule tallied five more.
Cedarville will play No. 5 Shorter on Friday at 5 p.m. for fifth place, and Grace hosts No. 8 Roberts Wesleyan at 1 p.m. Friday for seventh place.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. - An evenly played first half dissipated into an easy victory for second-seeded California Baptist over No. 7 Grace in the first round of the 2013 NCCAA National Championships.
California Baptist made better than 50 percent of their shots each half en route to their 83-65 win on Thursday.
CBU’s Simone Holmes made 10-of-12 from the floor for a game-high 22 points and five steals, and Jasmine Beverly recorded 18 points and nine rebounds.
Grace was sluggish through the midway point of the first half and trailed 33-20 with under five minutes to play, but the Lady Lancers jumpstarted themselves to end the half on a 13-3 charge. CBU possessed a slight 36-33 advantage into the halftime break.
Grace kept the score close through the first five minutes of the second half until CBU launched an 18-2 run. The Lady Lancers were unable to come closer than 15 points for the remainder of the contest.
California Baptist held a 37-27 advantage in rebounding with 12 offensive boards to their credit. They made 52 percent of their field goals to offset a 13-of-26 performance from the free throw line.
Allison Kauffman recorded 13 points and six rebounds to lead Grace, Juaneice Jackson tallied 10 points, and Jayla Starks added 7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
California Baptist advances to the semifinals against No. 6 Oklahoma Christian on Thursday at 8:45 p.m. while Grace will take on No. 3 Cedarville on Thursday at 1:45 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
CEDARVILLE, Ohio – Grace women’s basketball team lost its final tune-up before the NCCAA National Championships to Cedarville University 80-46 on Saturday.
Cedarville claimed the Midwest regional championship with the win and will join the Lady Lancers (19-14) at NCCAA Nationals from March 13-16.
The Lady Lancers struggled mightily from the offensive end, making just 16-of-51 from the floor (31 percent). The Yellow Jackets, on the other hand, made 33-of-56 for 59 percent for the game.
Cedarville opened the game with a 15-5 run and held onto a double-digit lead for much of the half.
A quick spurt from the Lady Lancers with less than five minutes remaining brought Grace to within 29-20.
But over the next eight minutes spanning between the halves, Grace was outscored 21-6 to hand the Yellow Jackets a 50-26 advantage.
Lindsey Schaefer and Allison Kauffman tied for team scoring honors for Grace with 10 points apiece. Kauffman pulled down a game-high eight boards, and Schaefer added five.
Eleven players saw playing time for Grace with eight of the Lady Lancers scoring. Juaneice Jackson tallied 6 points, 3 assists and 2 steals, Heather House scored six points, and Sarah Feasby chipped in four points and four boards.
Grace will enter their fifth consecutive NCCAA National Championship as the host bid. Stay tuned to www.grace.edu/athletics/nccaa for updates on the 2013 tournament draw and release of the official men’s and women’s brackets.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team advanced to the NCCAA Midwest Regional championship with a convincing 74-59 victory over Oakland City on Thursday.
Allison Kauffman poured in a career-high 26 points, and Juaneice Jackson scored 21 to lead the Lady Lancers into Saturday’s regional title bout at Cedarville University at 2 p.m.
Playing their final game in the Orthopaedic Capital Center before the 2013 NCCAA National Championships, Grace took command of the contest with an early 23-4 spurt. The Lady Lancers (19-13) had trailed 7-6 in the early minutes of the game before their momentum-shifting run handed Grace a double-digit lead they maintained the rest of the game.
Jackson was nearly impossible to stop in the first half, slicing and driving her way to 17 points before halftime. Grace held a 39-27 lead at the break.
The Lady Oaks (13-13) made a push to trim Grace’s advantage to 11 points at 41-30 with 19:01 to play.
But within seven minutes, the Lady Lancers had opened up a 20-point lead after back-to-back scores from Sarah Feasby. Feasby finished 4-of-4 shooting from the field for eight points and two steals off the bench.
Grace was strong in the post against Oakland City, resulting in a 30-14 advantage in points in the paint. The Lady Lancers also outrebounded the Lady Oaks 39-26 thanks to 16 offensive boards.
Kauffman’s career-best 26 points came with 11 rebounds. She made 13-of-15 from the foul line and added two assists.
Emily Bidwell produced 8 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals, and Kelsey Sule tallied three assists off the bench.
Grace will try to earn the program’s first NCCAA Regional championship on Saturday at Cedarville University. The Lady Lancers will play in their fifth straight NCCAA Nationals regardless of Saturday’s result as Grace serves as the host institution for the national tournament.
The NCCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s National Basketball Championships are held March 13-16 at the Orthopaedic Capital Center. Visit www.grace.edu/athletics/nccaa for more information.
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team was bounced from the first round of the Crossroads League Tournament 77-59 by No. 13 Bethel.
The Lady Lancers were responsible for 30 turnovers on Tuesday night to nullify their plus-18 advantage in rebounding.
Grace’s best minutes of the game were right after the tip-off. Bethel was held to four points over the first five minutes of action as the Lady Lancers (18-13) went ahead 10-4.
The next four minutes of action were nearly the exact opposite. Bethel drained a trio of 3-pointers in less than two minutes as Grace went 4:57 without scoring another point.
The Pilots (25-6) built up a double-digit lead late in the half en route to a 38-25 halftime advantage.
In the second half Grace looked to make a push when two free throws from Jayla Starks cut the deficit to 50-39 with 10:39 remaining.
But Bethel closed the door on Grace with a 16-3 run over the next four minutes as the Lady Lancers managed just three free throws during that period.
Grace struggled in their care of the basketball with a season-worst 30 turnovers. They also made just 38 percent of their field goals and 29 percent from the 3-point line.
The Lady Lancers did hold a 46-28 advantage in rebounding thanks to grabbing 14 offensive boards.
Juaneice Jackson was the leading scorer for the Lady Lancers with 16 points to go along with four assists and four steals.
Starks added 12 points and four steals, Kelsey Sule scored eight points off the bench, and Tiffany Petro added seven points in nine minutes of action in the second half.
The Lady Lancers will shift their focus to NCCAA postseason play. Grace will host an NCCAA regional contest against Oakland City on Feb. 28. The NCCAA National Championships are held at the Orthopaedic Capital Center from March 13-16.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Juaneice Jackson capped off a breakout junior campaign when she was named First Team All-Crossroads League, and Allison Kauffman picked up her first league honor when she was named honorable mention for All-League.
On Feb. 9 Jackson broke Grace’s women’s basketball record for most points scored in a season with a handful of contests remaining in the 2012-13 season. Her career total of 1,145 points currently ranks No. 9 in Lady Lancer history.
Jackson ripped off 37 points against Taylor on Jan. 8, which is the most points a Crossroads League player has scored in a game since 2006.
Kauffman earned the first postseason league honor of her career when she was named honorable mention. The sophomore forward averaged 12.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game during the regular season.
The Lady Lancers (18-12) play at Bethel on Tuesday night in the first round of the Crossroads League Tournament.
UPLAND, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team fell 78-66 on Saturday to Taylor in the regular-season finale as the Lady Lancers doomed themselves with 24 turnovers.
The Lady Lancers enter postseason competition on Tuesday when they travel to Bethel for the first round of the Crossroads League Tournament.
Juaneice Jackson poured in 16 of her 22 points in the second half, but her production was not enough to overcome the Trojans (21-8; 10-7 Crossroads League).
Grace startled the home team by claiming a 13-4 lead out of the gate. Taylor battled back with a 10-2 run midway into the half to reclaim the lead.
The Lady Lancers trailed 28-27 with 3:28 to play before the Trojans scored 10 unanswered to end the half and stake a 38-27 halftime advantage.
Taylor still led by double-digits before Grace ripped off 13 straight points to cut the Trojans’ lead to 50-49 with 10:46 to play. Jackson scored eight of Grace’s points in the run.
Unfortunately for Grace, their momentum ran out soon after. Taylor built their lead back up to double digits and maintained it for the duration of the contest.
Jackson made 7-of-10 from the field in the second half and 4-of-5 from the 3-point line for her 22 points and three assists.
Allison Kauffman finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, Emily Bidwell made 4-of-6 for eight points, and Jayla Starks chipped in eight points of her own.
Grace made 50 percent of their shots, but their 24 turnovers proved too much to overcome.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s regular-season home finale ended in a 62-55 defeat to No. 13 Bethel on Wednesday evening.
The Lady Lancers will travel to Taylor on Saturday with a chance to secure homecourt advantage in the first round of next week’s Crossroads League Tournament.
Grace struggled mightily with its shooting touch in the first half, making just 8-of-29 (28 percent) from the floor.
But the Lady Lancers (18-11; 9-8 CL) stayed aggressive on offense and were awarded by going 10-of-13 from the free throw line. The Pilots (23-6; 13-4 CL), by comparison, attempted just two free throws.
Midway into the first half, Juaneice Jackson buried a pair of 3-pointers less than three minutes apart to help erase a seven-point Pilot lead.
The teams traded baskets over the final few minutes as Bethel claimed a 31-28 advantage at halftime.
The Pilots made 5-of-10 from the 3-point line in the opening half.
Grace and Bethel were neck-and-neck over the final 20 minutes. Although the Pilots led the entire second half, the Lady Lancers never trailed by more than nine points.
Twice over the final three minutes, Grace whittled Bethel’s gap to four points including 55-51 with 2:14 to play. But the Pilots clinched the victory with five free throws down the stretch.
Grace improved slightly with their shooting after halftime, but the team was still below 32 percent overall for the game. The Lady Lancers were 0-for-5 from beyond the arc in the second half while the Pilots made 12-of-13 from the free throw line after halftime.
Jackson tied for scoring honors in the game with 14 points and three assists, and Allison Kauffman just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Lindsey Schaefer recorded seven points and five boards, Rianne Aguilar scored nine points, and Jayla Starks produced 8 rebounds, 6 steals, 2 blocked shots and 2 points.
At the conclusion of the contest, Grace honored its senior class of Starks, Aguilar and Emily Bidwell. The trio was instrumental in Grace’s first 20-win season last year. Overall, they have accounted for three straight .500 or better seasons – a first-time accomplishment for Grace’s program.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Juaneice Jackson was named the Player of the Week by the Crossroads League for the second straight week and third time this season.
She also picked up her second national Player of the Week award from the NCCAA.
Jackson broke the Lady Lancers' record for most points in a season on Saturday with a 24-point outburst against No. 3 Saint Francis.
The junior guard from Gary, Ind., topped the previous single-season mark of 508 points that was held by Cheryl Myers (1991-92).
Jackson leads the Crossroads League with 21.6 points and 3.9 steals per game in league competition.
She currently has tallied 1,109 points in her career, which ranks 10th on Grace's all-time scoring list.
Jackson has increased her offensive production each year in a Lady Lancer uniform. She scored 242 points as a freshman and upped that mark to 337 (9.9 ppg) as a sophomore.
She has turned into one of the more lethal weapons in the Crossroads League this season with 530 points to her credit.
Her 37-point outburst against Taylor on Jan. 8 is the most points a Crossroads League player has scored in a game since 2006.
Entering the final week of the regular season, Grace is currently tied for fourth place in the league standings.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Juaneice Jackson continued her outstanding junior campaign with 24 points in a losing effort against No. 3 Saint Francis on Saturday.
Jackson set the program’s record for most points in a season, but her production was not enough as the Cougars (25-3; 14-2 Crossroads League) pulled away to a 64-56 victory.
With a steal and breakaway layup just over five minutes into the contest, Jackson recorded her 510th point of the season. That mark breaks the existing record for most single-season points, previously held by Cheryl Myers in 1991-92 (508 points).
Overall, Grace’s defense gave Saint Francis fits in the first half. The Cougars, who average over 70 points per game, were limited to two points over the first 7:22 of action.
The Lady Lancers (18-10; 9-7 CL), on the other hand, grabbed a 12-2 advantage behind four points apiece from Allison Kauffman and Jackson.
The Cougars employed a fullcourt press for the duration of the first half, forcing the Lady Lancers into 11 turnovers.
Saint Francis tied the game 20-20 late in the half before Grace pulled away in the final minute. Emily Bidwell converted a bucket in the paint in the waning seconds to hand the Lady Lancers a 29-24 halftime lead.
Grace’s offense went cold in the early portions of the second half as they managed just one point over their first six possessions. Saint Francis claimed their first lead of the game at that point, 34-30.
Jackson poured in four unanswered points to lead the Lady Lancers back on top by two points with 13:33 to play.
But the Cougars slowly pulled away from the Lady Lancers with a 20-7 run over the next 10 minutes, and Grace was unable to muster another push before the final horn.
As a team, Grace finished with 22 turnovers to nullify their plus-eight advantage in rebounding.
The Lady Lancers made 41 percent from the floor and 5-of-10 from the foul line.
Jackson’s 24 points came with a trio of 3-pointers and a career-best seven steals.
Kauffman recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Jayla Starks filled the stat sheet with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals and 2 points.
The Lady Lancers, who sit in a tie for fourth place in the Crossroads League, will host third-place Bethel on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Grace will honor their senior trio of Jayla Starks, Rianne Aguilar and Emily Bidwell on Wednesday.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team picked up its third win in a row in dramatic fashion, topping Marian 77-74 in overtime on Wednesday.
Lindsey Schaefer scored a career-high 20 points, and Juaneice Jackson continued her offensive wizardry with 29 points to lead the Lady Lancers (18-9; 9-6 Crossroads League).
Grace started quickly, taking an 11-4 lead into the first media timeout.
Marian’s bench, who scored half of the team’s points in the first half, slowly began to chip away at Grace’s lead. The Knights tied the score at 19-19 and took a 30-29 advantage into halftime.
Despite 15 first-half points from Jackson and 10 from Schaefer, Grace hurt its cause with 10 turnovers before halftime.
The second half swung Grace’s direction when they produced an 11-2 spurt. Jackson’s 3-pointer with 8:26 to play gave the Lady Lancers their largest lead of the night at 54-47.
Marian’s 3-point shooting kept the team in contention, however, as they buried three triples after that point. The last 3-pointer for the Knights broke a 63-63 deadlock with 41 seconds to play.
Allison Kauffman, who scored all 15 of her points in the second half, came through to save the day for Grace. She produced two free throws and, after Marian made 1-of-2 from the foul line, received a pass from Jackson and scored to tie the game with seven seconds to play.
The Knights were unable to get a shot off before the end of regulation.
Marian took a five-point lead immediately into the overtime period, but Grace clawed its way back as Schaefer made 6-of-6 from the free throw line in overtime.
Her final two free throws put Grace ahead 75-74 with 50 seconds to play. Jackson then stole Marian’s dribble and was fouled, making one shot to extend the team’s lead.
Trailing by two points, Marian decided to go for the win on their next possession but came up empty on a pair of 3-point attempts.
Jackson pulled down the rebound and made another free throw with three seconds remaining to ice the season sweep of the Knights.
Jackson’s 29 points came with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. She has scored at least 20 points in nine of Grace’s 12 contests since Jan. 1.
Schaefer made 8-of-9 from the free throw line for her career-high 20 points, and Jayla Starks produced eight points and 12 rebounds.
The Lady Lancers currently are in fourth place in the Crossroads League standings with three games left in the regular season. Grace hosts No. 3 Saint Francis on Saturday at 1 p.m. before playing No. 15 Bethel and Taylor next week.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Juaneice Jackson picked up her third Player of the Week award in the past month and second from the Crossroads League after another outstanding week for Grace.
In addition to reaching a personal milestone last week, Jackson continued her torrid offensive pace by averaging 29.5 points per contest in two Grace victories.
Her 30 points against Spring Arbor on Wednesday put her over 1,000 career points (15th Lady Lancer in history).
She made 50 percent of her field goals for the week, including 14-of-18 from the foul line, to go along with 5.0 steals per game.
Since Jan. 1, Jackson has averaged over 23 points per game to lead the Crossroads League. She was won league Player of the Week honors twice (Jan. 14, Feb. 4) and was the NCCAA Player of the Week on Jan. 22.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Although Grace’s women’s basketball team struggled mightily with its shooting on Saturday, the Lady Lancers still found a way to win.
Grace made less than 30 percent of their shots but dug deep to defeat Goshen 59-53.
The game started slowly with Goshen scoring the first five points of the contest. The Lady Lancers (17-9; 8-6 Crossroads League) dealt the first blow, however, with a 20-5 run.
Goshen countered with 10 straight points to even the contest as Grace’s offense sputtered.
Grace made just 13-of-44 from the field in the first half, allowing the Maple Leafs (2-24; 0-14 CL) to take a late lead.
Juaneice Jackson buried a deep jump shot in the waning seconds to cut Grace’s deficit to 29-28 at the half.
Grace came out of the locker room misfiring, missing their first eight shots of the second half.
The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, connected on their first six shots. Goshen opened up its largest lead of the game at 37-28 with 17 minutes to play.
To make up for their faltering offense, the Lady Lancers turned to their defense.
Grace installed a fullcourt press, forcing Goshen into eight turnovers over a six-minute stretch. The Lady Lancers scored eight unanswered points to take a 45-44 advantage on a basket from JoEllen Fickel.
The teams traded baskets until a 3-pointer from Jackson handed the Lady Lancers a 50-49 lead with 4:03 to play. Grace did not relinquish the lead again.
Jackson added six more points down the stretch to help keep Goshen at bay.
With 25 seconds to play, Goshen trailed by two and had possession with a chance to tie the game. But Fickel came up with a huge steal to give the ball back to Grace, and Goshen was forced to put the Lady Lancers on the free throw line until the end of the contest.
Jackson, who was honored before the game for reaching 1,000 career points, led all players with 29 points. She tallied four steals and two assists as well.
Allison Kauffman produced 8 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocked shots, and Fickel finished with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.
Grace grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and forced Goshen into 25 turnovers. As a result, the Lady Lancers took nearly 20 more shots than the Maple Leafs (75-47).
As a team, Grace shot 29.3 percent from the field, including a 1-of-10 performance from beyond the arc.
The Lady Lancers will look to pick up their third straight win on Wednesday when they host Marian at 7 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Juaneice Jackson has enjoyed a breakout campaign during the 2012-13 season and reached a personal milestone with her 1,000th career point on Wednesday against Spring Arbor.
Jackson, who scored 30 points to lead the Lady Lancers to victory over Spring Arbor, became the 15th member of Grace’s women’s basketball team with 1,000 career points (1,027).
She currently sits in 13th place, needing 41 points to enter Grace’s top 10 all-time scorers.
Jackson has increased her offensive production each year in a Lady Lancer uniform. She scored 242 points as a freshman and upped that mark to 337 (9.9 ppg) as a sophomore.
She has turned into one of the more lethal weapons in the Crossroads League this season with 448 points to her credit. Her 17.9 points per game is second in the league. She also leads the CL in 3-point field goal percentage and steals.
Her 37-point outburst against Taylor on Jan. 8 is the most points a Crossroads League player has scored in a game since 2006.
Since Jan. 1, Jackson has terrorized the Crossroads League with 22.8 points per contest, leading the Lady Lancers to a 6-4 record.
SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Juaneice Jackson ripped off 30 points as Grace’s women’s basketball team claimed a 64-55 victory over Spring Arbor on Wednesday.
The Lady Lancers trailed by three at halftime but rallied to outscore the Cougars 36-24 in the second half.
Jackson's 30 points made her the 15th Lady Lancer in program history with 1,000 career points (1,027). She currently sits in 13th place and is just 41 points from entering the top 10 scorers all-time.
“This was a great team victory. Spring Arbor played a great game and was back and forth with us the whole game,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “Our quicker lineup picked up the defense in the second half to get us the lead, and we were able to maintain it. Emily [Bidwell] shot well, and [Heather] House handled the ball well and put pressure on their point guard.”
Spring Arbor claimed the first significant lead of the contest when they broke open a 13-13 deadlock to go ahead 23-17 with six minutes left in the first half.
The Lady Lancers (16-9; 7-6 Crossroads League) managed to bring the deficit to one possession by halftime by still trailed 31-28 at the break.
Grace’s defense picked up its intensity in the second half. The Lady Lancers forced 11 turnovers by the Cougars (9-16; 3-10 CL) and nabbed seven steals after halftime.
Grace shifted the game in its favor midway into the second half with a decisive 15-0 run. The Lady Lancers turned a five-point deficit into a 57-47 advantage with 4:52 to play. Jackson scored eight points during Grace’s run, and Sarah Feasby added four more.
The Cougars were not able to reach within seven points of Grace’s lead for the final five minutes of action.
Jackson topped 30 points for the second time in her career. She made 10-of-17 from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Her six steals also tied a season-best.
Bidwell made 7-of-8 for 14 points, Jayla Starks recorded five assists and five rebounds, and Allison Kauffman added 7 points, 5 boards and 3 assists.
Grace held a 34-30 advantage on the glass and tallied 13 assists on 24 made field goals.
The Lady Lancers continue their Crossroads League season with a four straight home games, starting against Goshen College on Saturday at 1 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team played evenly with Huntington for the first half of action. Their performance was drastically different in the second half, however, as the Lady Lancers fell 62-43 on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers mustered just 16 points after halftime, allowing the Foresters to ease away for the win.
Huntington grabbed the first significant lead of the game as they went ahead 17-9 after nine minutes of action.
Despite struggling on the offensive end in the opening period with 34-percent shooting, the Lady Lancers (15-9; 6-6 Crossroads League) kept themselves in contention by outhustling the Foresters (14-9; 6-6 CL).
Grace grabbed eight offensive rebounds and forced the Foresters into 10 first-half turnovers as they clawed their way back into a 27-27 tie.
Huntington got the last bucket of the half in the final seconds to take a 29-27 lead into the break.
The Foresters started to take control of the game shortly after halftime. Huntington scored 12 unanswered points to claim the first double-digit lead of the game and didn’t look back.
The Lady Lancers’ offense went ice-cold as they tallied just four points from 16:00 to 4:45. Huntington, meanwhile, opened up a 20-point lead en route to victory.
Grace committed 14 turnovers in the second half. They missed 14 of their 18 field goal attempts after halftime (22 percent), including 0-for-3 from beyond the arc.
Huntington was the opposite by making 13-of-24 from the field (54 percent) in the second half and 47 percent overall for the game.
No player for Grace reached double figures in scoring. Juaneice Jackson recorded 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals, and Allison Kauffman added eight points and four boards.
JoEllen Fickel was productive off the bench with seven points and six rebounds in 18 minutes.
The Lady Lancers will look to rebound on Wednesday when they travel to Spring Arbor for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
MARION, Ind. – After an impressive first half against No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday, Grace’s women’s basketball team was not able to keep pace in the second half of their 67-52 loss.
Juaneice Jackson led three Lady Lancers in double figures with 15 points in defeat.
The Lady Lancers (15-8; 6-5 Crossroads League) shot 52 percent in the first half as they stayed level with Wildcats throughout much of the first half.
The Wildcats (22-1; 10-1 CL) gained some separation with an 11-1 run and led by eight points with six minutes left.
Grace made a late push in the first half and closed IWU’s lead to two at 31-29 on a Sarah Feasby basket.
But the Wildcats broke open the contest by outscoring the Lady Lancers 24-8 over the final 1:20 of the first half into the first 11:16 of the second half.
Jackson did her best to lead Grace’s comeback when she tallied six points in a row to cut the gap to 57-49 with 4:40 remaining.
Indiana Wesleyan regained its double-digit lead on their next possession, however, and never looked back.
Jackson scored her team-high 15 points to go along with 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
Allison Kauffman recorded 11 points and eight rebounds, and Jayla Starks tallied 10 points. No other player for Grace scored more than four points.
Grace held a slight 28-27 advantage in rebounding, but the team hurt its own cause with 20 turnovers.
The Lady Lancers, who sit in fourth place in the Crossroads League, will look to maintain their position with a win on Saturday at home against Huntington University at 1 p.m.
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Junior guard Juaneice Jackson was rewarded for an outstanding week of basketball by being named the national Player of the Week by the NCCAA on Tuesday.
Jackson showcased her elite offensive talents by averaging 25.0 points per game in a pair of Crossroads League wins for the Lady Lancers.
She netted 27 points to lead Grace in their 72-63 road victory at Marian before tallying 23 points with six steals against Mount Vernon Nazarene in a 55-49 win.
For the week, Jackson added 4.5 steals, 3.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds to her 25.0 points per contest.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Juaneice Jackson scored 16 of her game-high 23 points in the second half to lead Grace’s women’s basketball team to a 55-49 win over Mount Vernon Nazarene on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers recovered from a second-half deficit to win by six in a crucial league matchup.
With the win Grace moves into sole possession of fourth place in the Crossroads League with a record of 5-4 in the CL and 14-7 overall.
Mount Vernon led out of the gate, scoring the first seven points of the game.
Grace’s offense struggled for much of the first half. Over the first eight minutes of action, the Lady Lancers trailed 15-4 after shooting 2-of-9 from the field with five turnovers.
Grace found its shooting touch soon afterward as 3-pointers from Allison Kauffman and Jackson brought the Lady Lancers back within striking range.
Grace’s defensive effort allowed the team to overcome poor shooting in the first half (33 percent from the field, 0-for-4 from the foul line). Overall Grace tallied 14 of their 19 points off of Mount Vernon turnovers.
Mount Vernon came out of their halftime locker room ahead 24-19 and maintained their advantage for the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Jackson lifted Grace to its first lead of the game on a terrific individual effort. Jackson ripped off 10 points in less than two minutes to turn Grace’s four-point deficit into a four-point lead with 10:35 to play.
She drained back-to-back 3-pointers to jumpstart the run and proceeded to steal the ball twice in a row and race away for fastbreak layups to cap off her spurt.
Grace never trailed again for the final 10 minutes after Jackson’s 10-point swing.
The Lady Lancers maintained their advantage by getting to the foul line. Grace made 16 second-half free throws, including nine in the last 4:02.
Jackson’s 23 points also included game-highs in assist (4) and steals (6). Kauffman was the other Lady Lancer in double digits with 13 points to go along with six rebounds.
Jayla Starks contributed seven points and nine rebounds, and Lindsey Schaefer added six points and nine boards.
Overall Grace outrebounded Mount Vernon 40-31.
Grace will prepare for their upcoming road clash with NAIA No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Lady Lancers will look to repeat last season’s game when they toppled then-No. 1 IWU 41-39 on Jan. 25, 2012.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team displayed a consistent performance from start to finish in their 72-63 win over Marian University on Wednesday.
Juaneice Jackson, the reigning Crossroads League Player of the Week, continued her strong play with 27 points to lead all scorers.
“This was a great team win. We talked about playing with toughness on the road, and tonight our ladies did that,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “This was our best effort of the year with several of our girls stepping up. [Heather] House had good minutes for us as did [JoEllen] Fickel and [Sarah] Feasby.”
The Lady Lancers (14-7; 5-4 CL) went ahead 6-5 in the early stages of the contest on a jumper from Jackson. Unbeknownst to those in attendance, Grace would stay in front for the final 38 minutes of regulation.
Jackson (13 points) and Allison Kauffman (11) paced Grace’s offense in the first half as the Lady Lancers took a 38-31 advantage into the break.
Grace opened up a double-digit lead midway into the second half and held off any serious runs from the Knights (13-7; 3-6 CL) throughout the rest of the game.
The Lady Lancers clinched the victory by making 12 free throws over the final three minutes of action.
As a team Grace held a 26-16 advantage in points in the paint. They also recorded 15 second-chance points and outscored Marian 9-3 on fast break points.
Jackson’s 27 points came on 11-of-19 shooting. She also tallied 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
Kauffman recorded her second-highest scoring output of the season with 19 points on 6-of-7 from the field and 6-of-8 from the foul line.
Emily Bidwell tied a career-high by pulling down 11 rebounds, and Jayla Starks added 6 points, 6 assists, 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
The Lady Lancers held a dominant 37-27 advantage in rebounding and made 48.0 percent of their field goals compared to 42.6 percent for Marian.
Grace, who is tied for fourth in the CL standings, will host Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Saturday at 1 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Junior guard Juaneice Jackson was rewarded for her tremendous week by being named the Player of the Week by the Crossroads League.
Grace, who played against a trio of NAIA ranked teams last week, was led by the sterling offensive production by Jackson.
Jackson scored a career-high 37 points with five 3-pointers made in Grace's upset of No. 25 Taylor. For the week, she made a remarkable 10-of-20 from beyond the arc.
She ended the week with averages of 25.0 points, 5.0 steals and 4.0 rebounds per game.
The Lady Lancers travel to No. 20 Marian on Wednesday night before hosting Mount Vernon Nazarene on Saturday at the Orthopaedic Capital Center.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – In a classic Crossroads League battle, Grace came up just short in their upset bid at No. 9 Saint Francis on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers (13-7; 4-4 CL), despite committing a season-worst 26 turnovers, missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to fall 63-60.
Juaneice Jackson, who gave the Cougars (18-2; 7-1 CL) fits all night with 26 points, handed Grace its largest lead of the game at 25-18 with a 3-pointer midway into the first half. She made all three of her attempts from beyond the arc in the first half and was 4-of-5 on 3’s overall.
Saint Francis turned up their offense late in the half, however, using a quick 8-1 run to fuel their 36-29 halftime advantage.
The Cougars maintained a small lead throughout the second half, holding a cushion of no larger than nine points but as small as one.
Grace refused to back down from the ninth-ranked Cougars, slicing the gap to one at 57-56 on a trey from Jackson with 3:35 to play.
After a defensive stop on one end of the floor, Grace lost the ball and allowed Saint Francis to score to regain a three-point lead.
This time, Emily Bidwell scored to pull the Lady Lancers within one with 57 seconds remaining. Grace looked to pull off the upset with a steal, but they quickly turned the ball over again and sent the Cougars to the free throw line.
Saint Francis made 3-of-4 from the foul line over their next two possessions to go ahead by four, but Allison Kauffman brought the Lady Lancers to within two with a quick basket.
After a foul with four seconds remaining, Grace sent Saint Francis to the line. The Cougars made the first shot and missed the second.
Kauffman snagged the rebound, raced up the court and got off a 25-foot 3-pointer as time expired, but her potential game-tying shot hit the front of the rim as the Cougars survived the threat of overtime.
Overall, Grace held a plus-16 advantage in rebounding. Saint Francis attempted 10 more free throws than Grace (24-14) and also committed 12 fewer turnovers.
Kauffman finished with 15 points and nine boards, and Bidwell and Lindsey Schaefer netted six points apiece.
The Lady Lancers continue league play on Wednesday at Marian before hosting Mount Vernon Nazarene on Saturday.
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team suffered one of its worst shooting performances of the season in a 64-43 loss to No. 15 Bethel on Thursday.
The Lady Lancers (13-6; 4-3 Crossroads League) made less 30 percent of their shots to snap their three-game winning streak.
Defensively, Grace held the Pilots (16-3; 6-1 CL) to 10 points below their season average. The Lady Lancers nabbed 12 steals and also grabbed 19 offensive rebounds.
Grace’s offense failed to get on track, however, as the team made 18 field goals in 63 tries (28.6 percent).
Despite their offensive issues, Grace’s defense was on display early in the game as they held Bethel to just two points for the first 5:26 of the game. Juaneice Jackson scored all six of Grace’s first points as the team led 6-2 five minutes after tip-off.
The Pilots found their shooting touch soon after as they drilled a trio of 3-pointers over the next five minutes to take a five-point lead.
Grace fought back and went ahead 16-15 with 6:10 to play in the half after back-to-back baskets from Emily Bidwell.
The team’s offense went dry after that point, though, and Grace could only muster three points for the rest of the half. Bethel entered the break with a 30-19 lead.
Less than two minutes into the second half, the Pilots had earned a double-digit cushion. Grace did not come closer than 10 points of Bethel’s lead for the remainder of the contest.
Jackson was Grace’s lone double-digit scorer with 15 points on 7-of-18 from the field. She, along with Jayla Starks, led all players with four steals.
Emily Bidwell came off the bench to produce nine points and four rebounds, and Sarah Feasby and JoEllen Fickel added four points and five rebounds apiece.
Grace continues league play on Saturday when they travel to Fort Wayne to take on Saint Francis. The women will play at 1 p.m. with the men’s Grace/Saint Francis game immediately following.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Juaneice Jackson will be giving Taylor University nightmares on Tuesday evening after the junior guard exploded for 37 points in Grace’s 74-62 win.
Jackson’s career night featured five 3-pointers and a 25-point first half that gave Grace its third consecutive win.
The game started slowly as each team struggled with turnovers in the opening minutes.
Grace was the first to assert itself, however, behind the scoring prowess of Jackson. Her lethal outside shooting coupled with lightning-quick drives to the hoop produced 21 points in the first 13 minutes of action.
With 7:41 to play in the first half, Grace held a 33-18 lead with Jackson outscoring the Trojans (13-5; 2-4 CL) by herself.
The Lady Lancers (13-5; 4-2 CL) opened up a 17-point lead in the initial stages of the second half before Taylor staged a comeback.
Taylor slowly whittled away at Grace’s lead and used a 12-2 run to wipe out Grace’s cushion. The Trojans tied the score at 57-57 and again at 59-59 before running out of steam down the stretch.
Grace’s defense went into lockdown mode for the final four minutes, allowing only a 3-pointer by Warsaw native Kelci Freds to penetrate their net.
The Lady Lancers, on the other hand, made seven free throws and used back-to-back buckets from Emily Bidwell to pull away for the victory.
Jackson’s production was just eight points away from tying the program’s record for most points in a game. She drilled 11-of-18 field goals, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, to go along with six boards and four rebounds.
Allison Kauffman reached double figures with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Gabby Bryant added eight points.
Jayla Starks produced a well-balanced stat line with 7 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.
The Lady Lancers hope to continue their winning streak on Thursday when they travel to No. 15 Bethel for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
GOSHEN, Ind. – Grace’s defense gave Goshen fits all game on Saturday as the Lady Lancers defeated the Maple Leafs 78-69 on Saturday.
Goshen was forced into 30 turnovers as Juaneice Jackson’s 26 points highlighted Grace’s offense.
Jackson was particularly efficient in the first half as she scored 17 points, nearly outscoring Goshen by herself (25 team points).
Grace blitzed Goshen from the beginning, taking an 18-2 lead out of the gate. The Lady Lancers (12-5; 3-2 Crossroads League) continued their advantage and took a 36-25 lead into the halftime break.
The Maple Leafs (2-15; 0-5 CL) refused to fade, however. Goshen chipped away at Grace’s lead until they trailed by just three at 51-48 with 9:39 to play. But Grace managed to keep Goshen at bay with four straight points.
Goshen cut their deficit to four points minutes later, but Jackson responded with a 3-pointer on Grace’s next possession.
The Lady Lancers held off any further threats from Goshen en route to their nine-point win.
Overall, Grace nabbed 18 steals. Jayla Starks recorded a career-high eight steals to go along with 10 points and five rebounds.
Jackson’s 26 points came on 9-of-14 shooting. She drilled 3-of-5 from beyond the arc to go along with six rebounds and five steals.
Allison Kauffman added 16 points on a perfect 10-of-10 shooting from the free throw line to go along with nine rebounds, Gabby Bryant scored 12 points, and Emily Bidwell produced seven points and four boards.
Grace held a significant advantage from the free throw line. They made 27-of-33 (82 percent) from the charity stripe compared to Goshen, who made 15 free throws.
The Lady Lancers will continue Crossroads League play on Tuesday when they host Taylor University at the Orthopaedic Capital Center at 7 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team got back to .500 in Crossroads League competition with a poised 67-46 win over Spring Arbor.
Juaneice Jackson scored a game-high 23 points with 5 steals, 4 rebounds and 3 assists to lead Grace’s effort.
“I thought we came out and played very well with our defensive effort. We worked on attacking out of the zone the last few days, got some really good looks and finished our shots,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “I would say our defense gave us the lead, and we maintained it with good team offense. Overall, this was a good start to the final portion of the league schedule.”
The Lady Lancers’ (11-5; 2-2 CL) defense forced Spring Arbor into 12 first-half turnovers.
Grace, who trailed for less than 30 seconds in the early portions of the game, used a 23-6 run to break away from the Cougars (6-10; 0-4 CL).
Jackson’s offense fueled Grace’s attack in the opening period as she scored 15 points before halftime. Grace entered the break ahead 39-22.
The Lady Lancers led by as many as 23 points in the second half before the Cougars rallied to within 56-42 with just under five minutes to play.
But freshman Gabby Bryant drilled a 3-pointer on Grace’s next possession to end the final threat Spring Arbor was able to muster.
Overall, Grace tallied 16 assists on 24 made field goals. The Lady Lancers sank nearly half of their 3-point attempts (7-of-15) on the evening.
Defensively, Grace held Spring Arbor to 31 percent shooting. The Cougars were responsible for 21 turnovers and made just 5-of-19 from beyond the arc.
Jackson did her damage thanks to 4-of-6 shooting from the 3-point line.
Emily Bidwell reached double figures with 10 points, and Jayla Starks added 7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Bryant and Allison Kauffman finished with eight points apiece, and JoEllen Fickel made all three of her field goal attempts to net six points in nine minutes of action.
The Lady Lancers continue Crossroads League action with a game on Saturday 1 p.m. at Goshen College.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Coming off a draining victory on Friday night against Mt. Mercy, Grace’s women’s basketball team was not able to provide a winning effort on Saturday in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
The Lady Lancers’ (10-5) offense was far from its usual effectiveness as they fell 54-44 to Iowa Wesleyan.
Grace suffered from their second-lowest offensive output of the season against Iowa Wesleyan less than 18 hours after Grace’s come-from-behind win on Friday.
The Lady Lancers connected on 18-of-57 of their field goal attempts (31.6 percent), as well as making 2-of-9 from the free throw stripe (22.2 percent).
Grace’s offense was particularly fruitless in the opening half as they produced just 19 points on 26 percent shooting. Through nearly 13 minutes of action to start the game, the Lady Lancers had six points.
Fortunately for Grace, their defense was more than up to the task as they held the Tigers (3-12) to 17 first-half points en route to a 19-17 lead at the break.
Iowa Wesleyan broke the game open, however, with an 18-6 run to start the second half.
With the Lady Lancers trailing 38-27 with less than nine minutes to play, Grace used baskets from Emily Bidwell, Allison Kauffman and JoEllen Fickel to slice the Tigers’ lead to 39-33 at the 5:14 mark.
But Grace’s momentum ran out soon after as the Lady Lancers were unable to come closer than six points for the duration of the contest.
Overall, Grace won the rebounding battle by three over Iowa Wesleyan and also forced the Tigers into 20 turnovers. But the Lady Lancers hurt themselves with 23 turnovers of their own.
Gabby Bryant and Kauffman led Grace in scoring with 11 points apiece.
Bidwell scored seven points to go along with her eight rebounds, and Jayla Starks tallied 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Grace concludes the nonleague portion of the schedule with their defeat on Saturday. They will shift their focus to the heart of the Crossroads League season starting Jan. 2. Grace will host Spring Arbor at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Grace’s women’s basketball team dug itself an 18-point deficit in the first half against the host Mt. Mercy in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
But the Lady Lancers proved their resilience with a come-from-behind 75-70 victory on Friday.
Grace’s offense sputtered for much of the first half as the Lady Lancers (10-4) made just 10-of-32 from the field.
The Mustangs (3-11), on the other hand, sank a sizzling 61 percent of their field goals (17-of-28) in the first half, including a 5-for-5 performance from the 3-point line by Danielle Herdliska.
Mt. Mercy used a 15-2 run to double up Grace with the score 36-18 late in the first half.
Allison Kauffman made a 3-pointer in the final 10 seconds of the half to close Grace’s gap to 40-27 at the break.
Grace came roaring back in the second half, thanks to a career-best effort from Gabby Bryant.
Bryant scored 18 of her career-high 23 points after halftime to lead Grace back into contention.
The Lady Lancers scored seven of the first eight points in the second half. They later used an 8-0 run, the last six of which came on consecutive 3-pointers from Juaneice Jackson, to pull within one at 47-46.
Grace took their first lead of the game at 53-51 from a triple by Bryant with 9:21 to play.
The score seesawed between the teams over the next five minutes before Grace seized control with a 10-1 run to open up a six-point margin.
Mt. Mercy managed to trim Grace’s lead to two points, but Grace clinched the game with five free throws in the final 30 seconds of action.
As a team, Grace held a plus-14 advantage in rebounding as they pulled down 23 offensive boards.
Bryant led all players with her 23 points as she made five 3-pointers in all.
Kauffman finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, Jackson tallied 15 points, 4 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals, and Emily Bidwell pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with six points.
Grace tied a season-low with 10 turnovers committed.
The Lady Lancers continue play in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic tomorrow against Iowa Wesleyan at 2 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team used a 21-2 run in the second half to pull away from IU-Northwest on Monday.
The Lady Lancers (9-4) were led by a career-high 27 points from Juaneice Jackson as Grace won 66-54.
IU-Northwest opened the game with marksmanship, taking an early 24-17 lead. The RedHawks (6-10) made 62 percent of their field goals in the first half and led for the majority of the half.
Grace picked up its defensive intensity later in the half, however, and forced the RedHawks into 15 turnovers before halftime.
Jackson was Grace’s lone offensive bright spot in the first half, scoring 13 points. The Lady Lancers trailed 28-27 at the break.
Jackson scored the first bucket of the second half to give Grace their first lead of the game, and the lead seesawed between the two squads for the next 10 minutes.
With the RedHawks ahead 45-42 with 9:36 to play, Grace unleashed their game-changing run by scoring 21 of the next 23 points.
IU-Northwest was only able to manage two free throws over nearly a seven-minute span as Grace seized control of the contest.
Overall, Grace outrebounded IU-Northwest by 12 with 10 offensive rebounds to their credit.
Jackson was the only Lady Lancer to reach double figures with her career-best 27 points. She made 9-of-15 from the floor, including a trio of 3-pointers.
Gabby Bryant added nine points and two assists, Lindsey Schaefer scored eight points, and JoEllen Fickel tallied six points and five rebounds in 10 minutes of action off the bench.
The Lady Lancers will resume play on Dec. 28-29 for the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team found itself down by 10 points late in the second half to IU-Southeast and attempted to mount a furious comeback.
But the Lady Lancers’ late efforts came up short in a 68-67 loss on Wednesday night.
"We went from our best defensive effort to our worst. We played sluggish, and it allowed IU-Southeast to hang around and beat us," said Grace head coach Scott Blum. "This was a tough loss, but we learned we can't just show up and win."
Juaneice Jackson poured in 25 points to lead Grace, the last of which came on a 3-pointer in the final seconds to cut IU-Southeast’s lead to one.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair with neither team leading by more than six points. But the Grenadiers (6-4) went on a massive 22-6 run midway into the second half to claim a 62-52 lead with 6:20 remaining.
The Lady Lancers (8-4) did their best to eat away at IU-Southeast’s advantage, eventually closing the gap to 65-64 with a second-chance bucket from Allison Kauffman with 1:30 to play.
Grace had opportunities to either tie the game or take the lead on their next two possessions, but they were unable to produce down the stretch.
IU-Southeast sank three free throws in the final minute to hold on for the victory.
Jackson’s game-high 25 points came with four 3-pointers and four steals, and Kauffman posted 19 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
Overall, Grace held a dominant 43-23 advantage in rebounding, but they hurt their cause with 21 turnovers along with just five assists.
The Lady Lancers will return to the Orthopaedic Capital Center on Monday against IU-Northwest at 7 p.m.
NEW CASTLE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball coach Scott Blum was one of 18 players to be included on the Silver Anniversary Team by the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Blum was honored alongside other former high school standouts such as NBA All-Star Shawn Kemp and 1988 Indiana Mr. Basketball Woody Austin.
Blum was an outstanding basketball player for Oregon-Davis High School where he amassed 1,576 career points and was an Indiana All-Star in 1988.
He went on to play for two seasons at Valparaiso University before transferring to Grace College for his final two years.
While at Grace, Blum became an NCCAA All-American and helped lead the Lancers to the 1992 NAIA National Championship.
Blum, who is in the Lancer Athletic Hall of Fame, is in his ninth season at the helm of Grace’s women’s basketball team. Last season, Blum led the Lady Lancers to their best season in program history as they notched their first 20-win season.
To read the official release from the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, click here.
GARY, Ind. – Allison Kauffman had a career night to lead Grace’s women’s basketball team to a 79-42 win over IU-Northwest on Saturday.
Kauffman poured in 22 points to go along with 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks to highlight Grace’s rout.
The Lady Lancers (8-3) were especially dominant in the first half as they outscored the RedHawks (5-8) by the score of 46-18.
Grace held a slight advantage when the scoreboard read 10-8 with 14:54 to play, but the Lady Lancers seized control with a 13-1 run and never looked back.
Grace’s defense held IU-Northwest to just 10 points over the final 15 minutes of the first half. The RedHawks shot just 6-of-22 (27 percent) in the first period. By comparison, the Lady Lancers made 20 field goals in the first half and shot at a 51 percent rate.
“We worked hard all week on defense, and our key tonight was to have a defensive mindset,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “I would say they passed the test only allowing 18 first-half points. We did a great job tagging guards and denying easy post touches. All our players got in the second half, but everyone continued the defensive intensity.”
The second half was much of the same as the Lady Lancers built their lead up to 45 at one point.
Overall, Grace handled the ball well with a season-low 10 turnovers to their credit.
The Lady Lancers had a plus-24 advantage in the rebounding battle as they grabbed 17 offensive boards.
Freshman Kelsey Sule had her best performance of the season with nine points in 14 minutes off the bench, and Tiffany Petro and Lindsey Schaefer added eight points as well.
Jayla Starks tallied 6 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds, Emily Bidwell posted seven points and six boards, and JoEllen Fickel pulled down five rebounds off the bench.
The Lady Lancers will next play at IU-Southeast on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team dropped a 75-52 game to Crossroads League opponent Huntington on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers (7-3; 1-2 CL) allowed Huntington to hit nearly 60 percent of their field goals as the Foresters (7-2; 2-1 CL) had an assist on 24 of their 29 made shots.
“Our lack of defensive focus was the issue. Our heart was in our offense, and when it doesn’t flow, we lose focus on our defense,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “We lacked execution on defense giving up open jump shots. We need better effort on the defensive side of the ball before we can call ourselves a great team. We will refocus and get to work on Monday.”
Grace was efficient on the offensive side of the floor in the first half. The Lady Lancers made all three of their 3-point attempts and went 12-of-24 from the field.
But Huntington’s offense was even more potent as they nailed 60 percent of their shots in the opening half, taking a 40-29 lead into the halftime break.
The Foresters continued to make shots after halftime, as well, as they sank 58 percent of their field goals in the game overall.
Grace struggled in protecting the basketball as 24 turnovers hampered their cause.
Allison Kauffman was the only Lady Lancer in double figures with 14 points and six boards on 6-of-9 shooting. Emily Bidwell and Gabby Bryant added seven points, and Sarah Feasby scored eight points in 18 minutes off the bench.
The Lady Lancers will return to action on Saturday with a road game at IU-Northwest.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace's women's basketball fell to 7-2 on the season after a poor shooting performance. The Lady Lancers finished just 27 percent shooting from the field in a 68-40 loss to No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan.
The Lady Lancers (7-2; 1-1 Crossroads League) entered the game averaging 66 points per game but finished with a season-low 40 points in the evening.
Grace’s turnovers hurt their own cause with 17 turnovers, allowing 19 points to be scored off turnovers for the Wildcats (8-0; 2-0 CL).
The game was tightly contested through most of the first half, but Indiana Wesleyan finished the half on a 9-1 spurt that sparked the Wildcats for the rest of the game.
The Wildcats fueled most of their offensive momentum off of Lady Lancer turnovers, as Indiana Wesleyan entered the halftime break ahead 33-19.
As the second half started, Grace was still within striking distance until IWU’s 12 unanswered points midway into the half put the game out of reach.
Grace post players Allison Kauffman and Emily Bidwell combined for 11 points, 8 rebounds and 0 turnovers on the night. They also shot a combined 40 percent from the field.
Juaneice Jackson paced Grace in scoring with nine points to go along with five boards, and Gabby Bryant tallied five points and three assists.
Grace will look to get back on track on Saturday at 1 p.m. when they travel to league foe Huntington University.
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – Grace’s women’s basketball team continued its torrid start to the season with a 68-56 defeat of Mount Vernon Nazarene.
The Lady Lancers have now won seven of their first eight games to start the 2012 campaign thanks to a strong second-half performance on Tuesday.
The first half of action was tightly contested as the score was tied five times. Neither team led by more than five points during the first half as the Lady Lancers (7-1; 1-0 Crossroads League) earned a slight 30-28 advantage at halftime.
But the Lady Lancers began to pull away in the second half, largely due to the offense of Juaneice Jackson.
Grace used an 11-2 run early in the second half to gain some separation from the Cougars as Jackson was responsible for seven of Grace’s points.
Grace continued to build its lead until they earned their largest margin of the game at 52-37 with 8:49 to play. The Lady Lancers did not allow the Cougars (1-4; 0-1 CL) to get within 11 points for the duration of the game.
Jackson led all players and tied her season-high with 22 points. She made 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and also nabbed three steals.
Allison Kauffman posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman Gabby Bryant scored 16 points with three treys.
Rianne Aguilar scored eight points off the bench, and Lindsey Schaefer pulled down seven rebounds as well.
Grace hit a sizzling 52 percent of their shot attempts in the second half (13-of-25). They also earned a 20-10 advantage in rebounds after halftime.
The Lady Lancers hit nearly half of their 3-point attempts in the game (7-of-15).
Grace will continue Crossroads League action on Nov. 28 when they welcome No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan to the Orthopaedic Capital Center at 7 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team improved to 6-1 in the nonleague portion of their schedule with a 61-58 win over No. 24 Union (Ky.) on Saturday in the KCCCF Optimist Classic.
The Lady Lancers used a game-high 17 points from Juaneice Jackson and 14 points from Emily Bidwell in the upset victory.
Grace opened up the game on a 15-6 run to take what turned out to be their largest lead of the game. Jayla Starks and Bidwell each scored five points in Grace’s opening spurt.
The Bulldogs (4-2) countered with a 16-4 run of their own. Union took a slight 28-27 advantage in the locker room at halftime.
Midway into the second half, Grace seized control of the game with an 11-1 run that was fueled by four points from Micah Pollard and five points from Bidwell.
The Lady Lancers built their second-half lead up to seven with the score 55-48 with 4:28 left on the clock.
Union battled back and had a chance to take a late lead at the free throw line. But with the score 59-58 in Grace’s favor, the Bulldogs misfired on both of their attempts with 13 seconds remaining. Juaneice Jackson was fouled on the rebound attempt and promptly made both shots.
Union had two looks at a game-tying 3-pointer but couldn’t connect on either shot as the Lady Lancers held on for the win.
Jackson’s 17 points included a 8-of-10 performance from the free throw line to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
Allison Kauffman recorded nine points and eight rebounds, and Starks finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Lady Lancers will resume play next week for the start of the Crossroads League season. Grace will travel to Mount Vernon Nazarene on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team continued its strong start to the season with a 68-44 victory over Rochester College on Friday in the KCCCF Optimist Classic.
The Lady Lancers (5-1) were consistently pesky on the defensive end of the floor, recording 16 steals and forcing 25 turnovers from the Warriors.
Grace proved to be lethal from beyond the arc in the opening minutes of the game. The Lady Lancers drilled four 3-pointers in the first six minutes of action against Rochester’s zone, taking a 17-5 lead in the process.
The Lady Lancers’ defense was swarming throughout the opening half as they nabbed 10 steals against the Warriors (3-3). Jayla Starks was responsible for five steals in 14 minutes of action in the first half.
Grace built a double-digit lead on the strength of their defense and 3-point shooting and entered the halftime break ahead 32-22.
Rochester charged back to start the second half, draining a trio of 3-pointers to slice Grace’s lead to three at 36-33. But the Lady Lancers responded with defensive tenacity.
The Warriors could only manage to score 11 points in the final 15 minutes of action as the Lady Lancers coasted away for the 24-point victory.
Freshman Sarah Feasby was instrumental in Grace’s second-half run as she scored 10 points in a row for the Lady Lancers. Overall, Feasby made all three of her field goal attempts and grabbed five rebounds in 10 minutes of action.
Allison Kauffman led all players with 15 points to go along with eight rebounds. Juaneice Jackson also reached double-digit scoring with 13 points on 3-for-3 shooting from the 3-point line.
Gabby Bryant hit a pair of 3-pointers to go along with 5 assists, 2 steals and 0 turnovers, and Jayla Starks finished with 7 points, 8 boards, 3 assists and 5 steals.
Rochester attempted 32 shots from the 3-point line but could only connect on 22 percent of their treys. Overall, Grace made 39 percent of their field goals compared to 25 percent for Rochester.
The Lady Lancers will conclude the KCCCF Optimist Classic from the Orthopaedic Capital Center on Saturday with a game against No. 24 Union (Ky.) at 2 p.m.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team played its second straight NCAA Division I opponent on Tuesday night, losing 68-52 to IPFW from Memorial Coliseum.
The Lady Lancers improved greatly after halftime, playing level with the Mastodons as each squad scored 32 points in the second half.
Three players for the Lady Lancers (4-1) reached double-digit scoring, led by 17 points from Allison Kauffman. Juaneice Jackson scored 11 points, and freshman Gabby Bryant added eight of her 10 points in the second half.
“I am proud of my Lady Lancers. They bounced back from a difficult loss at IUPUI and responded very well against a good IPFW team,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “We didn’t execute offensively or play aggressively in the first half, but we came out and did both well in the second half.”
IPFW started out the game with accurate shooting, making seven of their first 10 field goal attempts. But Grace’s defense buckled down afterward and forced the Mastodons (1-1) into 35 percent shooting from the field for the final 15 minutes of the half.
Six minutes after tip-off, Grace trailed 15-11 before surrendering a 19-6 run to allow the Mastodons to take a 17-point lead.
Grace committed nine turnovers in the first half, but Kauffman did her best to keep Grace close with eight first-half points. IPFW entered halftime with a 36-20 advantage.
The Lady Lancers made a spurt in the early stages of the second half with seven unanswered points, capped off by a 3-pointer from Jackson, to cut IPFW’s lead to 11.
The Mastodons regained a comfortable lead shortly after and maintained it until the final stages of the game.
Grace used a 12-2 run over the final minutes of play to surge to within 12 points of the Mastodons, but it proved to be too little, too late.
“To tie IPFW 32-32 in the second half is a good sign,” Blum said. “If we play hard for 40 minutes and execute, this team can do some good things this year.”
Grace’s defense forced IPFW into 13 turnovers in the second half. They also made 11-of-13 from the free throw line after halftime.
Kauffman boasted an impressive stat line with 5 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals to go along with her team-best 17 points. She hit 7-of-11 from the field, including a 3-pointer.
Jackson added 4 rebounds, 5 assists and a game-high 3 steals, and Bryant led all players with 34 minutes played.
Emily Bidwell chipped in with six points and four boards, and Jayla Starks, JoEllen Fickel, Sarah Feasby and Lindsey Schaefer each scored two.
The Lady Lancers will host the annual KCCCF Optimist Classic on Friday and Saturday with all proceeds benefitting the Kosciusko County Cancer Care Fund (KCCCF). Grace will play Rochester at 6 p.m. on Friday before welcoming No. 24 Union on Saturday at 2 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace's men's and women's basketball teams will be hosting a talent-filled tournament this weekend at the Orthopaedic Capital Center.
The annual KCCCF Optimist Classic will kick off on Friday with four games followed by four more games on Saturday.
Admission to watch the games is $5 per day, and all proceeds will go directly to Kosciusko County Cancer Care Fund (KCCCF).
Four teams either ranked or receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Poll will put their talents to the test this weekend, including the eighth-ranked Grace men’s basketball squad.
The women’s tournament is a classic format with Indiana Wesleyan and Union playing Friday at 2 p.m. and Grace and Rochester playing Friday at 6 p.m. Grace will then square off with No. 24 Union on Saturday at 2 p.m. as the Indiana Wesleyan-Rochester game will precede that at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The men’s team will host a pair of NAIA Division I schools starting with Missouri Baptist on Friday at 8 p.m. The Lancers will then face off with No. 4 Robert Morris (Ill.) on Saturday at 4 p.m.
The two non-Grace men’s games include Huntington versus Robert Morris at 4 p.m. on Friday and Huntington versus Missouri Baptist on Saturday at 12 p.m.
Follow along with live audio and live stats for the games on Grace’s athletic site: www.grace.edu/athletics.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team squared off with NCAA Division I Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers fell 107-48 in exhibition play as 15 players saw playing time for Grace, and 12 Lady Lancers scored.
IUPUI drilled 13-of-23 from the 3-point line (56.5 percent) and just under half of their field goal attempts overall (40-of-81).
Grace scored first from Allison Kauffman off a nice play for the Lady Lancers. The Lady Lancers hit 41 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half, but turnovers proved costly.
Grace committed 29 turnovers in defeat and took 32 fewer shots than the Jaguars (1-0) overall.
Freshman Gabby Bryant led Grace in scoring with nine points, Kauffman finished with six points and five rebounds, and Juaneice Jackson scored seven.
Micah Pollard added seven points off the bench, and Lindsey Schaefer made all four of her free throw attempts.
The Lady Lancers will play another NCAA D-1 school on Tuesday when they take on IPFW at Memorial Coliseum at 5:30 p.m. Their game with IPFW will count for both schools in the win/loss column.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team is no newcomer to NCAA Division I competition. The Lady Lancers played at IPFW last season and took on Valparaiso in 2010 exhibition play as well.
But Grace has upped the ante in 2012 as they will face two D-1 opponents in four days starting Saturday.
The Lady Lancers will travel to Indianapolis to face IUPUI on Saturday for an exhibition game before playing at the Fort Wayne Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. for a rematch with IPFW in regular-season competition.
“For us now, we are going into both of these games 4-0 and playing good basketball. The fun thing is we have a couple games we can get better at,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “We’re not expected to go in and there beat them, so we’re not too worried about winning or losing. I’m excited for these girls to have the chance to play against two very good programs in Indiana. It will be a good opportunity to play against Division I teams and see where Grace stands.”
Grace gave the IPFW Mastodons all they could handle during the 2011 campaign. The Lady Lancers were within one bucket of IPFW with 7:19 remaining in regulation before fading late in a 71-54 defeat.
So far in the 2012-13 season, Grace is off to a fast start. The Lady Lancers boast a perfect 4-0 record following a hard-fought road win on Tuesday over Indiana Tech.
Find out how Grace fares against their NCAA Division I opposition with game recaps, statistics and photographs at Grace’s athletic site (www.grace.edu/athletics).
Grace is coming off its first 20-win season in program history as the Lady Lancers finished with a record of 20-15 last year.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Four players reached double-digit scoring for Grace’s women’s basketball team as the Lady Lancers won a road contest 78-70 over Indiana Tech on Tuesday.
The Lady Lancers (4-0) were led by a career-high 17 points from Jayla Starks in a well-balanced performance from Grace.
“This was a great team effort. Indiana Tech played well and tested us all night,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “We executed our offense well, and I thought we played our best defense of the year. Jayla [Starks] stepped up offensively, and Rianne [Aguilar] had her best defensive night and shot the ball well. This was a big win on the road and a boost to team confidence.”
The first half was a tightly contested affair as the score was tied eight times in the first 20 minutes. Grace nailed 50 percent of their shot attempts in the first half and entered the break ahead 39-36.
The Warriors (0-3) battled back to take a small lead early in the second half before a big run from Grace swung the game in the Lady Lancers’ favor.
With 15 minutes left in regulation, Grace went on a 10-2 run to grab a seven-point lead. Indiana Tech battled back to cut Grace’s lead to one at 59-58 with 7:39 remaining, but Juaneice Jackson hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Allison Kauffman scored five points to push Grace’s lead back up to 10 and end the Warriors’ threat.
Starks’s career night of 17 points included a pair of 3-pointers to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.
Kauffman hit 6-of-8 from the floor for 15 points, and Jackson tallied 14 points and seven boards.
Aguilar came off the bench to make 4-of-6 of her field goals, and Emily Bidwell pulled down eight boards.
The Lady Lancers next prepare for a pair of games against NCAA Division I opponents. Grace will play at IUPUI in exhibition play on Saturday at 12 p.m. before facing IPFW on Tuesday in Fort Wayne at 5:30 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Juaneice Jackson scored a game-high 18 points, and Allison Kauffman posted a double-double to lead Grace’s women’s basketball team to a 71-51 win over IU-Southeast on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers improved to 3-0 to start the season with their impressive win over the Grenadiers (0-1), who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Preseason Poll.
IU-Southeast scored the first bucket of the game, but the Grenadiers would not lead the rest of the way. The Lady Lancers seized control of the lead with 10 unanswered points and never looked back.
Grace held IU-Southeast to under 30 percent shooting from the field in the opening half and entered halftime ahead 32-21.
Similar to the first half, Grace ripped off 10 straight points to start the second half as they held a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the game.
The Lady Lancers shot a sizzling 50 percent on their field goal attempts in the second half. They nailed 15-of-30 from the field and 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
Jackson did her damage on 5-of-6 shooting, including a perfect 2-for-2 from beyond the arc and 6-for-6 from the free throw line. She also tallied four assists and three steals.
Kauffman’s second career double-double came thanks to 13 points and a career-best 14 rebounds. She pulled down seven of Grace’s 14 offensive boards. Overall, the Lady Lancers held a plus-20 advantage in rebounds.
The Lady Lancers recorded 19 assists on 29 made field goals, led by six assists from Jayla Starks. Starks amassed 6 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals to along with her 6 assists.
Emily Bidwell added eight points and four rebounds, and Rianne Aguilar scored six points off the bench.
Grace’s next game is on Tuesday when they travel to face Indiana Tech at 7:30 p.m.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball nabbed 16 steals on Tuesday evening against IU-South Bend in a 49-43 win.
Despite struggling with their shooting touch on the night (27 percent field goals), the Lady Lancers held the Titans to 20 second-half points to remain undefeated on the season.
Jayla Starks recorded seven steals to highlight Grace’s defensive effort.
“We had to win it as a team tonight. We had a bad night shooting, but this was a good win for our young team on the road,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “We had to win ugly. We had a lot of good shots in the paint, but we started to panic when they didn’t go in. This was a great team effort hanging in there and finishing for the victory.”
Grace’s defense was impenetrable in the beginning stages of the game. The Lady Lancers (2-0) held the Titans (0-2) scoreless for the first seven minutes to take a 9-0 lead out of the gate.
The Titans charged back with a 15-2 run of their own to grab a four-point lead. IU-South Bend entered halftime ahead 23-20.
Grace seized control of the game midway through the second half when they went on a 13-2 run to lead 35-29 with 9:24 to play.
With less than three minutes remaining, IU-South Bend cut Grace’s lead to two points on two occasions, but senior Emily Bidwell scored on consecutive possessions to keep the Titans at bay.
Grace stood their ground defensively down the stretch, forcing the Titans to put Grace on the foul line. Starks, Juaneice Jackson and Gabby Bryant iced the win by hitting 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 27 seconds of action.
Overall, Grace’s defense forced IU-South Bend into 21 turnovers while committing just 11 of their own.
Jackson led all players with 14 points to go along with three steals. Allison Kauffman scored nine points for Grace, and Starks and Bidwell tied for team honors with eight rebounds apiece.
The Lady Lancers return to the Orthopaedic Capital Center for Grace’s Homecoming on Saturday. Grace will face IU-Southeast at 1 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – A well-balanced attack paced Grace’s women’s basketball team to an 80-66 win over Holy Cross in their 2012 season opener.
Juaneice Jackson led all players with 22 points as 10 players scored for the Lady Lancers (1-0).
Grace used a 13-2 run in the first half to gain separation on the scoreboard between themselves and the Saints (0-1).
The Lady Lancers held the Saints to 32 percent shooting from the field in the first half to take a 34-28 lead at halftime.
Holy Cross managed to cut Grace’s lead to four points a few minutes into the second half, but the Lady Lancers ended the Saints’ threat with a 14-4 spurt. The Saints would not push any closer than eight points for the duration of the game.
All 10 Lady Lancers who saw playing time managed to score. Jackson was the standout performer of the game by making 8-of-14 from the field. She filled the stat sheet with 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists.
Grace outrebounded Holy Cross by 11. The Lady Lancers tallied 17 offensive boards as well.
Allison Kauffman registered the only double-double of the game with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Jayla Starks turned in an all-around effort with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.
Freshman Gabby Bryant scored eight points as the starting point guard, and fellow freshman Sarah Feasby added eight points and four rebounds.
The Lady Lancers connected on 73 percent of their free throw attempts and 41 percent of their field goals in the win.
Grace resumes action on Tuesday when they travel to face IU-South Bend at 7 p.m.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Head coach Scott Blum has a fresh batch of talent for the 2012-13 edition of the Grace’s women’s basketball team.
The Lady Lancers are coming off their best season in program history and hope to build on that success with a mix of upperclassman leadership and new talent.
Grace had its first winning season since 1991-92 last year as they recorded their first 20-win season ever (20-15). The Lady Lancers graduated a trio of 1,000-point scorers, but Blum is confident this team is ready for the challenge.
“Last year’s seniors did a great job building the program, and we were prepared for their departure with some great players under them,” said head coach Scott Blum. “This group is enjoyable to watch. The chemistry they have and the intensity they are working at will make for a fun year.”
Leading the way for Grace will be the team’s three seniors – Rianne Aguilar, Emily Bidwell and Jayla Starks. All three seniors have played in three consecutive national tournaments and enter the year with a drive to lead the team physically, mentally and spiritually.
Bidwell will be joined in the frontcourt by sophomore returners Allison Kauffman and Lindsey Schaefer. Blum is counting on the trio to mesh into one of the most dangerous and athletic post rotations in the Crossroads League.
The backcourt is highlighted by junior guard Juaneice Jackson. After earning the league’s Freshman of the Year honors two years ago, Jackson averaged 9.9 points per game last year to lead all returners. A terrific penetrator with the ability to shoot from the outside, Jackson will be counted on to pace the team in scoring.
On the court, Grace will display much of the same style that built the team into a mainstay in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll last season. The Lady Lancers will rely on a balance of low post scoring and outside shooting, but they will be much quicker at nearly every position this year.
“Our style of play won’t be a big change. Our key will be getting easier buckets going up and down the floor,” Blum explained. “The speed of our offense and defense will be an asset to us, and we can do more with defensive schemes to create problems for our opponents.”
Blum has brought in a talented nine-player freshman class, with many of the players looking to contribute immediately.
Gabby Bryant will be looked upon to fill the starting point guard position left void by the graduation of Hannah Lengel. Bryant won multiple championships during her high school days at Heritage Christian and brings high-level experience to the guard play.
Micah Pollard was forced to redshirt last season with a knee injury and is back on track to regain the form that made her an All-City selection in Indianapolis at Covenant Christian. Kelsey Sule (LaPorte), Heather House (Garrett) and Jo Boren (Lakeland Christian) also join Grace’s guards after standout careers in high school.
The Lady Lancers will also have a new array of post talent this year with four forwards 5-foot-10 or taller. Sarah Feasby has impressed during preseason work and has the potential to be one of the first players off the bench, according to Blum. Jesse Feitz (6’2”), Tiffany Petro (6’2”) and JoEllen Fickel (6’0”) add tremendous length to the defensive end of the floor.
“I have a great feeling about this team with their chemistry and love they have for each other and the Lord,” Blum continued. “They have fun, but they also get after it defensively. Our goal is to finish together, get to the NAIA Tournament and do well. I feel like it’ll be a fun year.”
Grace kicks off their season at home on Oct. 27 against Holy Cross College.
DETROIT, Mich. – Lancer graduate Kiera Gray has continued her basketball career with the Detroit Black Hawks of the Women's Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL).
Gray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop HS) finished her career with the Lady Lancers as the third leading scorer in program history with 1,471 career points. According to Grace head coach Scott Blum, Gray's semi-pro contract in the WBCBL is the first of its kind in program history.
“This is an exciting deal for Kiera and for Grace in general. Grace was good for her, and she in turn was good for Grace,” Blum said. “It’s great to see how God has used basketball to bring Kiera to Grace, grow her spiritually and to allow her to continue playing the game she loves to play. I’m excited and pleased for her.”
The WBCBL had its inaugural season in 2005, and the Black Hawks are in their second year as a team. The Black Hawks have a number of former NCAA Division I athletes on their roster, including players from Xavier University, Providence College and Fordham University.