Offense quiet at No. 13 Cougars

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team ended its five-game road trip with a 63-56 loss at No. 13 St. Francis on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers (12-6, 3-3 Crossroads League) suffered their lowest scoring output of the season; Grace shot just 36 percent from the floor, including 28 percent on 3-pointers.

The Cougars (13-4, 4-2 CL) never trailed in Saturday’s game, although the lead was single digits for almost the full contest.

Grace’s scoring issues started in the first quarter. The Lady Lancers shot 4-of-17 (24 percent) from the floor in the period compared to 53 percent for the Cougars.

USF led by seven after one quarter, and the Cougars stretched the lead to 12 midway through the second quarter.

Grace ended the half with momentum, however. The Lady Lancers held the Cougars to just two points for the final 5:39 of the first half, taking advantage with a 12-0 run to tie the score.

Kyannah Stull scored five points during that spurt, and Micaela Box hit a triple.

USF scored in the final minute and claimed a 29-27 advantage at halftime. Stull’s 12 points at the break led all players.

On two occasions, Grace cut the gap to just one point during the third quarter. But each time, the Cougars had a response. Grace faced an eight-point deficit by the quarter’s end.

With 7:24 remaining in regulation, Grace still trailed 52-45. Kamryn Hostetler caught fire, scoring in the paint and hitting a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to put pressure on the Cougars.

USF hit a triple on the next possession, but Stull countered with a trey of her own to make the score 58-56 with 4:30 to play.

But Grace’s offense dried up at that moment. The Lady Lancers were unable to score again for the final four minutes, missing its last five shots to go along with a turnover.

As a result, USF pulled away for the final seven-point margin of victory.

Stull finished with a game-high 18 points and five assists, hitting four 3-pointers. Hostetler also reached double digits with 16 points and two steals while also making four triples.

Box scored eight points with two assists off the bench, Brooke Treadway pulled down eight boards, and Lexi Minix and Vironnica Drake each scored five.

The Lady Lancers return home on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. game against Spring Arbor.