Miller, Columbus Pace Grace

images-8HUNTINGTON – The Grace College men’s basketball team pulled to within one game of the lead in the Crossroads League on Saturday thanks to their 81-75 victory over Huntington.

The Lancers picked up their fourth straight victory on the strength of 25 points from Greg Miller and a career-high 17 from Karl Columbus.

Grace’s win, coupled with a loss by Bethel, creates a logjam at the top of the league standings. The Lancers and Taylor are tied for third with a 9-3 league record just behind the 10-2 records of co-leaders Indiana Wesleyan and Bethel.

After a steady start to their game on Saturday, Grace’s offense blitzed the Foresters (12-12; 3-9 CL) to close out the first half.

The Lancers trailed 27-21 with 7:32 to play but kicked their offense into high gear after that point. Grace outscored Huntington 23-5 over the final seven minutes to claim a 44-32 lead at halftime.

Miller and Elliot Smith each buried a pair of 3-pointers during Grace’s run, and Columbus scored seven more to flip the game in Grace’s favor.

Grace, who shot 57 percent from the floor in the opening period, continued their marksmanship by making 15-of-30 in the second half.

The Lancers added another 10-0 flurry midway into the second half to open up their largest lead of the game at 64-45.

Huntington proved to be resilient, however. The Foresters made a trio of 3-pointers and nine free throws to fuel their comeback as they pulled to within three at 72-69 with 5:21 to play.

Bruce Grimm Jr. took matters into his own hands in the final minutes by scoring eight of Grace’s final nine points to stem Huntington’s momentum.

Miller’s game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds came on 11-of-17 shooting. Columbus’s 17 points also came with three steals.

Grimm finished with 10 points, six assists and three rebounds, Smith added 11 points and three assists, and Tannan Peters chipped in with eight points in 10 minutes off the bench.

As a team Grace recorded 18 assists on 32 made field goals. They also held a 34-26 advantage in rebounding.

The Lancers will try for their fifth win in a row on Tuesday when they host Spring Arbor at 7 p.m.

 

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