Grace had dropped seven consecutive men’s basketball games over the past month, however, that was difficult to tell after watching the Lancers battle Saint Francis over the first 14-plus minutes of the Crossroads League game Wednesday at the Hutzell Athletic Center.
The Lancers led throughout that stretch before the Cougars finally grabbed the lead and would never trail again in winning 101-91. The victory lifted No. 2-ranked Saint Francis (14-3, 4-1 CL) into a four-way tie for first place in the league, along with Indiana Wesleyan, Taylor and Bethel.
The game was tied at 39 late in the first half, but the Cougars tore off on a 14-2 run and led comfortably from that point on.
Saint Francis stretched the margin to as many as 19, as it won at the Hutzell Athletic Center for the 20th straight time.
The Cougars shot 61 percent from the floor and placed five players in double figures, including a game-high 27 points from junior forward Bryce Lienhoop.
Lienhoop also led the Cougars with four assists, while also grabbing four rebounds. Also contributing were Chandler White (25 points, six boards), Kyle Sovine (12 points, five rebounds in just eight minutes), Perry Poindexter (14 points, eight rebounds), and Vijay Blackmon (10 points).
Saint Francis had struggled in its three defeats from the free throw line, but sank 25 of 30 against the Lancers (8-9, 0-5).
Former Snider players Stephen Halstead (11 points, five assists) and Logan Godfrey (six points, five rebounds) each started for Grace.
The Cougars will host Mount Vernon Nazarene Saturday at 3 p.m.