Dec. 31, 2010
Story courtesy of Warner Sports Information
LAKE WALES, Fla. - The Warner University (Fla.) men's basketball team closed their Holiday Inn Express Tournament in thrilling fashion as they defeated no. 17 ranked Grace College (Ind.) 79-72 Thursday night in the Turner Athletic Center to even their record to 6-6 and drop the Lancers to 10-5 for the season.
In the first half, the Royals played spirited basketball behind a 15-point first-half performance from Malcolm Campbell. The Los Angeles, Calif. native was too much to handle for the Lancers as he scored eight of his points in the paint and was sent to the line seven times where he was perfect (7-of-7) in the half. David Westberry came off the bench to score eight points in the half, including a free-throw to put the Royals up by 10, 24-14.
The Lancers showcased hot shooting to stay in the game as Bruce Grimm Jr. shot 6-of-7 from the floor including 3-of-4 from behind the arc, including a jumper with 50 seconds left in the half to bring the score to 34-33. Two Brennan Taylor free throws in the waning seconds of the half extended the Royals lead to 36-33 going into the break.
The Lancers shot 60% from behind the arc in the first half.
Grace opened the second half on fire scoring 16 unanswered points within the first five minutes of the period to take a 13-point lead 49-36. The Royals not to be undone took the run in stride and assembled a run of their own sparked by a Campbell tip-in that sent the Royals on a 23-10 run highlighted by two three-pointers from Ray Victor to tie the game at 59.
The teams traded baskets for the next five minutes with the final tie coming at the 3:04 mark on a David Henry three-pointer for the Lancers. Taylor countered with five consecutive points including a three of his own to give the Royals a 74-69 lead with only 1:42 left to play in regulation.
Taylor's points coupled with staunch Royals defense proved the catalyst for a Warner late 10-1 run to extend the Royals lead to nine, 79-70 with 24 seconds left on the clock and to put the game out of reach. A last second layup from Duke Johnson gave the Lancers their final score and ended the game at 79-72.
The Royals guarded the perimeter better in the second half, holding the Lancers to only 30% shooting from behind the arc in the second half.
Head Coach Sean Hanrahan noted the Royals strong play on the defensive side, "I'm Very happy with the win and our defensive effort, we did not have to rely on our three-point shooting to get a top-20 win, "stated Hanrahan. Next week we add some depth with some players that will be activated this semester, this is great momentum going into conference," closed Hanrahan.
The Warner bench was beneficial to the Royals win as they outscored the Lancers bench 26-3 led by 13 and 10 points from Westberry and Victor respectively. The Lancers also had no answer for the Royals presence in the paint as they scored 30 of their points in the area.
Campbell led all Royals scorers with 23 points including a perfect night from the line (9-of-9). He averaged 21.6 ppg over the course of the three-day Invitational.
Taylor also finished with double figures, pouring in 11 points.
Grimm Jr. finished with a game high 26 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, including 4-of-7 from downtown and was near perfect from the line, sinking 8-of-9 of his free throws. Johnson followed with 18 points and Henry scored 15 to round out the Lancers top scorers. Tannan Peters led all players with 10 rebounds.
The Royals will now look to their conference season as they open The Sun Conference play Wednesday, Jan. 5 when they host Johnson & Wales University in a 7 p.m. game in the Turner Athletic Center.