Marquel Perry led everyone on the court with 19 points, and Chandler Rivers scored 16 as the Trinity Baptist College Eagles played their second-straight highly-ranked NCCAA opponent in #4 Grace Bible College. It was a seesaw affair for most of the game, but the seven-time national champion Grace Tigers pulled away late to win it 83-73.
Rivers had nine points in the first half, including a pair of alley-oop slam dunks in the game’s first 17 minutes. He also assisted three other Eagle scores before the intermission and finished with five total assists.
Rivers also connected on two three-point attempts and pulled in four rebounds.
Perry, meanwhile, drained a trio of three-pointers and hit 4 of 5 free-throw attempts to compile his game-high total while also grabbing seven rebounds.
Trinity surged back from an eight-point deficit to tie the score at 31-all on Andrew Bowman‘s short jumper with 1:54 left in the half. Grace then outscored Trinity 5-1 before the buzzer and took a 36-32 lead into halftime.
The Eagles flew out of the locker room on an 18-5 run in the second half’s first 6:20 and eventually built a 10-point lead midway through. However, the Tigers connected on six straight three-point shots — three each from Caleb Anderson and Marcus Chandler — while defending successfully and scoring 18 unanswered points within three minutes to reclaim the lead. Grace hit seven consecutive three-point attempts and finished with 11 threes overall.
Marquis Duncanson followed Perry and Rivers with 13 points. Marcus Dixon and Zack Norris each scored nine while Terry Byrd sank a three-point shot and Andrew Bowman and Ethan Payne each hit a field goal.
The Eagles shot 46% on the afternoon and 52% in the first half.
For Grace, Grant Garrison led his team with 17 points, and Brandon Winchester-Jones was next with 15. Adam Rayner and Chandler each had a baker’s dozen, and Anderson finished with nine to help lead the Tigers. Four more Tigers scored points for Grace.
The Tigers shot 58% in the second half, including those seven straight threes, and hit 14 of 19 free throws overall.
Trinity will travel to North Georgia next weekend to face South Region rival Toccoa Falls College on January 19 and Crown College in Powell, Tennessee, a day later. The Eagles will return to their home court to face Johnson University of Florida in a South Region game and Piedmont International University on January 23 and 27, respectively.
–Raymond Bureau, TBC
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