Tigers Defeat #5 Northland International University, 81-73
In a game that was close throughout until the final minutes, the Tigers put together 40 minutes of solid play and came away with an important 81-73 win against the #5 nationally ranked Pioneers of Northland International University Thursday evening in the opening round of the NCCAA Midwest Region Tipoff Tournament. The win should move Grace up in the national rankings but more importantly it was rewarding to the coaches and players who have worked hard over the last week to improve areas of weakness.
Grace has won six Midwest Region championships in the last eight years. NIU has won the other two. The two teams have a lot of respect for each other and their rivalry has been a competitive but friendly one. Thursday night was no different.
Grace led most of the way but the margin was never more than 10 points and that came with less than a minute left in the game. The Tiger bench gave Coach Gary Bailey’s team a great spark in their first rotation with Rod Altidor, Jared Bradford, Nick Van Loo, and Lucas McKian helping the Tigers overcome an early deficit to lead at the half, 37-34.
Junior Cameron Cramer finished the game with a double-double, recording game-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Jared Bradford followed with 14 points, including an 8-8 showing from the free throw line. Blauwkamp filled the stat sheet with 10 points, 6 boards, and 4 assists, despite fouling out late in the game. Both Nick Mascarro and Bradford ended the game without a turnover on the stat sheet, while recording 4 and 3 assists, respectively.
Highlights of the win last night can be seen in the video below this article.
The Tigers will take on Moody Bible Institute in Game 2 of the Midwest Regional Tip-Off at 6:00 PM tonight. If you cannot make it out to Kuyper College in Grand Rapids for the game, you can also listen to live audio, here: Grace vs. Moody LIVE