Tigers Show Grit Despite Exhibition Loss to Western Illinois University, 77-43
Coming off back to back wins on Thursday and Friday against NCCAA regional opponents Northland International University and Moody Bible Institute, the Tigers hopped on a bus early Saturday morning and drove seven hours to NCAA D1 Western Illinois University to face a challenge on a whole different level in an exhibition game against the Fighting Leathernecks. WIU was big, strong, athletic, and talented but the Tigers hung with them for the first few minutes of the game, leading 8-5 after three and a half minutes. A free throw by sophomore Lucas McKian tied the score at 11 at the 12:26 mark of the first half and WIU gradually pulled away to 39-24 halftime lead.
WIU picked up in the second half where they left off in the first, pounding the ball inside and taking advantage of their strength and size. Grace was outscored 50-10 in the paint, and WIU’s smothering defense often made the Tigers take shots they did not want to take.
“We are pleased we can give our guys the experience of playing at this level, and for that we are grateful to WIU and their coaching staff,” said Coach Bailey. “Experiences like this will challenge us to get better.”
Cameron Cramer led the Tigers with 17 points and 8 rebounds while Adam Link led WIU with 18 points.