Grace struggles in second half, falls to SVSU
Saginaw, MI – The Grace Tigers traveled to the eastside of the state tonight to attempt to upset the undefeated Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals (NCAA DII). Right off of the tip the Tigers seemed ready to play, battling the Cardinals back and forth for the first 20 minutes. Grace found themselves trailing by only two points (37-35) at the half after a spectacular coast to coast bucket by freshman Jared Bradford as the clock expired.
A pair of free throws by junior Cameron Cramer quickly tied the game up at 37 right at the start of the second half. The Cardinals then took the lead the next possession and kept it for the remainder of the game. Grace was able to cut the lead built up by the Cardinals to 9 points with less than 10 minutes remaining on a nifty 3-point play by sophomore Rod Altidor. From then on turnovers (12 in the second half) and sharp shooting from the Cardinals (10 of 19 from 3 in the second half) doomed the Tigers, resulting in a final score of 97-73.
“I was pleased at how hard we played and our enthusiasm, but some miscues on offense and missed assignments on defense took us out of the game in the second half,” said Coach Gary Bailey.
Cramer showed what he was capable of, putting up 21 points on 62% shooting on the Cardinals 6’9” big man Kalen Foreman. Junior Jake Blauwkamp continued his hot shooting streak, connecting on 5 of 8 three point attempts on his way to 16 points. Guards Nick Mascarro and Travis Rader also recorded double figures with 12 and 10, respectively. Grace outrebounded the Cardinals 39-26 overall, with Cramer recording 9, and Blauwkamp and Luke McKian each chipping in 5.
The Tigers return to action next week Thursday for the Midwest Regional Tip-Off held at Kuyper College, where they will take on #3 Northland International University.