OMAHA, NEBRASKA: The Royals hosted the York College Panthers on Tuesday, November 7. Both teams entered the match with a 1-2 record; the Royals have also lost the last 12 consecutive games to York College. After an exciting game with 12 lead changes and 14 tied scores, the Royals pulled ahead in the last two minutes to win 65-59.
The Royals scored the first basket of the game two minutes into the game with a 3-pointer from point guard Alyssa Strickland. York managed to gain a four-point lead at 3-7 at 5:21, but by 3:58 the Royals had tied the score at 9-9. With 2:44 remaining in the quarter, the Royals had a 15-9 lead; at the end of the quarter, the score was tied at 17. In the second quarter, neither team took the lead by more than 3 points until the last minute when Grace pulled ahead at 35-30 thanks to consecutive buckets from Tschida Johnson and Marisa Brown. The Royals went into halftime with a 3-point lead at 35-32.
In the second half, the Royals held onto their lead for four minutes until the Panthers pulled ahead at 38-39. In the third quarter alone, the score was tied 4 times and the lead changed 6 times; the Royals took the lead with eight second left in the third quarter when a made free throw from Marisa Brown gave the Royals a 50-49 advantage. The Panthers grabbed the lead early in the fourth quarter and held onto it for the majority of the fourth quarter, building it up to as many as four points at 51-55 at 6:52. With three minutes left in the game, the Royals were down 57-59; they ended the game with an 8-0 run that put them up 65-59 by the end of the game, securing the win over York for the first time in program history.
The Royals shot 34.8% from the field and 37.5% from beyond the arc while holding York to 36.5% from the field and 22.2% from the 3-point line. The Royals had 15 steals, which they converted to 14 points off turnovers, and 11 second-chance points while only allowing York 8 points off turnovers and 2 second-chance points. Grace won the boards with 46 rebounds (14 offensive and 32 defensive) compared to York's 44 rebounds (10 offensive and 34 defensive).
Marisa Brown led the Royals with her second double-double of the season; she contributed a game-high 17 points and 13 rebounds. Darielle Evans contributed 15 points, 7 steals, and 4 rebounds. Alyssa Strickland also scored in double digits with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Tschida Johnson had 8 points and 9 rebounds, followed closely by Majesty Pelletier with 8 points and 7 rebounds. The Panthers' leading scorers were Sofia McGee with 14 points and Kelsey Sharkey with 11 points.
UP NEXT: The Royals will travel to McPherson, Kansas, to compete in the Central Christian College Classic this weekend. They will play Central Christian College on Friday, November 10, starting at 6 p.m. Grace will also face-off with rivals Manhattan Christian College on Saturday, November 11, at 12 p.m.
By Loretta Gamboe, SID Staff