OMAHA, NEBRASKA: The Grace University Royals hosted the Ecclesia College Royals on Thursday, February 8, for their second matchup of the season. Earlier this season, Grace defeated Ecclesia on the road 85-63. This time, Grace gained a 37-20 advantage by halftime; after going into the fourth quarter up 55-36, they won the game 86-40.
Ecclesia scored the first lay-up of the game from a play off the jump-ball, but Grace quickly responded with a 3-pointer to take and keep the lead. Grace quickly gained a 9-2 lead, forcing Ecclesia to call a time-out. Grace continued to build up their lead, and by the end of the first quarter, they were up 20-9. In the second quarter, Grace held onto their advantage; Ecclesia came within 9 points of Grace at 29-20 with just over 3 minutes left in the half. Grace closed the half with an 8-0 run to build their lead up to 17 points at 37-20.
In the third quarter, the two teams played each other evenly. Grace led by 19 points, 55-36, at the end of the third quarter. In the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, Darielle Evans scored 10 points to increase Grace's lead to 29 points at 65-36. Grace continued to outscore Ecclesia in the fourth quarter, scoring 31 points of their own while holding Ecclesia to a mere 4 points. The final score was 86-40.
Grace shot 40% from the field (30 of 75), 33.3% from the 3-point line (9 of 27), and 77.3% from the free throw line (17 of 22). Ecclesia shot 23.9% from the field (16 of 67), 11.5% from the 3-point line (3 of 26), and 62.5% from the free throw line (5 of 8). Grace totaled 37 rebounds, 15 assists, and 18 steals, while Ecclesia had 43 rebounds, 10 assists, and 2 steals. Grace had 25 points off turnovers, 8 second-chance points, 32 points in the paint, 18 fast break points, and 18 bench points, while Ecclesia totaled 6 points off turnovers, 3 second-chance points, 18 points in the paint, 4 fast break points, and 5 bench points.
Every member of Grace's team scored at least 3 points, led by Darielle Evans with a career-high 32 points. Evans also contributed 9 rebounds and 5 steals. Karen Orozco contributed 14 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals, while Majesty Pelletier had 11 points and 2 rebounds. Alyssa Strickland had 9 points, and Marisa Brown had 7 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists. Tschida Johnson had 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Emily Chadwell led Ecclesia in scoring with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Dara Smith had 9 points and 11 rebounds.
UP NEXT: The Royals will travel to Springfield, Illinois, to play Robert Morris on Saturday, February 10, at 6 p.m. Their next home game will be on Friday, February 16, against Dakota State University at 6 p.m.
By Loretta Gamboe, SID Staff