MCPHERSON, KANSAS: The Royals traveled to Central Christian College in McPherson, Kansas, to play the Central Christian College Tigers on Friday, November 10. Grace was 6-3 in games against Central Christian since November of 2010After being down 1 at 31-32 at halftime, the Royals pulled ahead in the second half to win the game 83-73. The Royals are now 3-2 this season.
The Royals outscored the Tigers in every quarter but the first. In the first quarter, the Royals scored the first bucket with a lay-up from Tschida Johnson for a 2-0 advantage only to find themselves down 2-8 at the 5-minute mark; within two minutes, the Royals pulled ahead 10-8. The Tigers went on an 11-3 run in the last three minutes of the quarter, giving them a 6-point advantage at 13-19 at the end of the first quarter. The two teams exchanged shots for 7 minutes of the second quarter; the Royals were not able to tie or pull ahead until the seventh minute of the quarter when a shot from Darielle Evans tied the game at 28. The Tigers managed to regain the lead and held onto it by 1 at 31-32 going into halftime.
The Royals took the lead less than twenty seconds into the third quarter with a 3-pointer from Alyssa Strickland. The Tigers tied the score two more times in the next two minutes before the Royals pulled ahead for good. Five minutes into the third quarter, the Royals had built their lead up to 9 points at 47-38; by the end of the quarter, however, the Tigers had come within 4 points of the Royals at 55-51. Early in the fourth quarter, the Tigers were able to quickly bring the Royals' lead to 1 point at 55-54, but the Royals built their lead back up to 8 points with nine minutes left to play. Within two minutes, the Tigers came within 1 point of the Royals at 62-61; shots from Marisa Brown and Alyssa Strickland put the Royals ahead by 5 at 66-61 with 6 minutes left in the game. With four and a half minutes left, the Tigers came back within 1 point for the third time that quarter at 68-67. The Royals went on a 12-3 run to gain a solid 10-point lead at 80-70 with just over a minute left in the game; they held onto their lead and won the game 83-73.
The Royals shot 38.8% (31 of 80) from the field and 35% (7 of 20) from the 3-point line while holding the Tigers to 33.7% (29 of 86) from the field and 30.6% (11 of 36) from the 3. Grace had 14 points off turnovers, 48 points in the paint, and 21 second-chance points. Five of the Royals scored in double digits; three of those five set new career-records for points in a game. Junior forward Darielle Evans had a career-high 26 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals; junior point guard Alyssa Strickland had a personal-best 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Junior forward Marisa Brown contributed her third double-double of the season with 15 points, 17 rebounds; she also had 3 assists and 2 steals. Sophomore forward Jasmine White had a career-high 13 points and 8 rebounds, and Tschida Johnson had a season-high 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
UP NEXT: The Royals will play in their second game of the "Classic for Christ" Invitational on Saturday, November 11, at 2 p.m. They will face long-time rivals Manhattan Christian College.
By Loretta Gamboe, SID Staff