In game number one, the Tigers were out toughed and sloppy, falling to UFTL, 83-69.
"We really struggled against the press tonight, which showed in our season high 30 turnovers". We weren’t ready for the intensity that they brought".
The Tigers trailed by 17 at the half, before rallying midway through the second half, cutting the lead down to 7. The Eagles answered, however, and the game never got closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Junior Parker Neu was outsized down low, but played an extremely strong game, with 15 points.
The following night, in a rematch, Grace competed much better for the first 25 minutes of the game, carrying a 1 point lead with 15 minutes left. One bad stretch, however, doomed the Tigers, as UFTL went on a 21-0 run in a 4 minute span to grab a 20 point lead. The bench, along with starter Ty Thiel, cut the lead back down to 10 with 5 minutes left, but that’s as close as the Tigers got, falling 93-75.
"I feel like we came in with a much better effort and took care of the ball much better, but we didn’t do a good enough job against their shooters in their run in the second half."
The Eagles had shot 2/25 in the first game from behind the arc, but answered in game 2 with a 10/21 effort from 3 point land.
Ty Thiel led the Tigers in game 2 with a game high 25 points and would keep the hot streak going in a convincing win over Maranatha Baptist on Friday with a career-high 30 points and 8 rebounds. The Tigers defeated Maranatha 96-67.
Saturday’s game against host Finlandia University would result in a 97-75 win for the Tigers, earning them some valuable power points with a road victory over an NCAA DIII squad.
The Tigers now stand at 10-11 on the season and will have a slight break to all the travel, with games upcoming in Berrien Springs vs. Andrews University on Thursday, and then across town at Aquinas College on Saturday at 7:00 pm.