MCPHERSON, KANSAS: The Royals finished the "Classic for Christ" Invitational at Central Christian College with two wins. After beating the Central Christian College Tigers 83-73 on Friday night, the Royals faced long-time rivals the Manhattan Christian Thunder on Saturday, November 11, in the early afternoon. The Royals pulled ahead toward the end of the first quarter and held onto the lead for the remainder of the game, eventually beating Manhattan 84-65 to improve their record to 4-2 this season.
Grace scored the four points of the game to gain a 4-0 advantage after the first three minutes. The Thunder came back to tie the game 4-4 with just over five minutes left in the quarter. The Thunder gained a 9-6 lead with three and a half minutes left in the quarter; the Royals responded with an 8-0 run to gain a 14-9 lead with a minute left in the quarter; by the end of the first quarter, the Royals were up 16-13. The Royals held onto their lead, building it up to 7 points 32-25 halfway through the second quarter. A three-pointer from Alyssa Strickland in the last seconds of the half put the Royals up by 10 points going into halftime at 43-33.
Three minutes into the third quarter, the Thunder came within six points of the Royals at 45-39, but the Royals regained their 10-point lead with back-to-back shots from sophomore Jasmine White. The Thunder came within seven of the Royals at 44-51 with four and a half minutes left in the third quarter; the Royals went on a 20-5 run to gain their highest lead of the game, 25 points, at 71-46 with just under 8 minutes left in the game. With just over 5 minutes left to play, the Royals led 75-52; the Thunder made an 8-3 run in a bid to come back, cutting the Royals' lead to 18 points at 78-60 with two minutes left to play. The Royals held onto their lead, however, and won the game with a final score of 84-65.
The Royals shot 45.7% from the field, making 32 of 70 shots, and 42.9% from beyond the arc, making 6 of 14; they held the Thunder to 36.2% from the field, 25 of 69 shots, and 27.3% from beyond the arc, making 9 of 33. The Royals shot 82.4% from the free throw line, making 14 of 17, while the Thunder shot a mere 50% from the free throw line, making 6 of 12. Grace beat Manhattan in fast break points (10-4), points off turnovers (31-10), points in the paint (59-36), and bench points (28-7) while tying in second-chance points (14-14). The Royals had 44 rebounds, 13 assists, and 13 steals to the Thunder's 45 rebounds, 13 assists, and 7 steals.
Four of the Royals scored in double digits, and two of them scored over than twenty points. Sophomore Jasmine White led the Royals with a game-high 28 points, a new career high; White also grabbed 7 rebounds. Junior Darielle Evans contributed 23 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals, and 6 assists, while junior Marisa Brown contributed her third consecutive double-double (fourth of the season) with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Alyssa Strickland had 12 points and 5 rebounds, while junior Tschida Johnson contributed 8 points, 5 steals, and 3 rebounds.
Manhattan's highest scorers were Melissa Fabela with 18 points, Haleigh Hipsher with 13 points and 14 rebounds, and Katherine Wenger with 13 points.
UP NEXT: The Royals will travel to Bellevue, Nebraska, to play the Bellevue University Bruins on Wednesday, November 15, starting at 6 p.m.
By Loretta Gamboe, SID Staff