OMAHA, NEBRASKA: The Grace University Royals hosted the Nebraska Christian College Sentinels in their final home game of the season on Wednesday, February 21. Previously this season, the Royals edged out the Sentinels 70-67 on the Sentinels' home court. This time on their own home court, complete with a large and boisterous crowd, the Royals sailed past the Sentinels, gaining a 37-10 lead by halftime. Every Royal scored 3 or more points as they finished the game with a 68-37 advantage to defeat the Sentinels and improved their record to 15-13.
The Royals started the game strong with a 10-3 run in the first 3 minutes of the game. The Royals continued to extend their lead, gaining a 24-8 advantage by the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Royals held the Sentinels to a mere two points while scoring 13 points of their own to bring the score to 37-10 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Royals held onto their lead, never allowing the Sentinels to trim their lead to less than 22 points. Halfway through the third quarter, the Royals led 45-17; the Sentinels brought the game to 22 points at 45-23 with three minutes left in the third quarter. At the end of the third quarter, the Royals led 53-30. They started the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run to bring the score to 62-32 with five minutes left in the game. The Royals finished the game with a 68-37 advantage to win the game and improve their record to 15-13.
The Royals shot 35.4% from the field (28 of 79), 34.4% from the 3-point line (34.4%), and 25% from the 3-point line (1 of 4). The Sentinels shot 20% from the field (10 of 50), 9.1% from the 3-point line (2 of 22), and 71.4% from the 3-point line (15 of 21). Grace had 25 points off turnovers, 11 second-chance points, and 26 points in the paint, while Nebraska Christian had 9 points off turnovers, 5 second-chance points, and 14 points in the paint. The Royals had 56 rebounds, 17 assists, and 15 steals, while the Sentinels had 41 rebounds, 9 steals, and 9 blocks.
Every Royal scored at least 3 points against the Sentinels. Darielle Evans reached 1,000 career points with 13 points, 8 steals, and 7 rebounds. Karen Orozco contributed a game-high 16 points; she also had 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Marisa Brown was one point away from a double-double with 9 points and 16 rebounds. Tschida Johnson also narrowly missed a double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds. Alyssa Strickland contributed 6 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds, while Jasmine White contributed 9 points and 3 rebounds. Loretta Gamboe and Majesty Pelletier each contributed 3 points; Pelletier also had 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Two of the Sentinels scored in double digits. Kayla Bloodworth led the Sentinels with 15 points, 18 rebounds, and 8 blocks. Alexis Frondarina had 15 points, 5 steals, and 4 rebounds.
UP NEXT: The Royals will play their last game of the regular season on Saturday, February 24, at Barclay College in Haviland, Kansas. They will play in their regional tournament March 7-10.
By Loretta Gamboe, SID Staff