Gibbs scores 33 in Grace’s season-opening win

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Grace’s men’s basketball team won its season opener over Concordia 88-78 on Wednesday night.

The Lancers (1-0) showed little rust in their first taste of regular season action despite the addition of six new faces to their lineup this season.

Cade Gibbs exploded onto the scene in his collegiate action. The redshirt freshman had a double-double with 33 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 14-of-20 from the floor. He also contributed two blocks.

The Lancers faced adversity early when they fell behind the Cardinals 9-2 just two minutes into half. The early deficit prompted Coach Moore to call a timeout.

The stoppage seemed to calm Grace’s early nerves as they found an offensive rhythm. After an and-1 from Jakob Gibbs, the Lancers pulled within two at 13-11.

The two teams traded baskets until the midpoint of the half. Myles Johnson hit back-to-back field goals to give the Lancers their first lead of the game at 22-21.

Cade, who was one of five Lancers who made their Lancer debut, pushed Grace’s lead to as many as six before the Cardinals began to claw back.

Concordia and Grace traded 3-point field goals as the half wound down. The Lancers were unable to maintain their lead as they entered intermission trailing 43-40.

Grace shot a blistering 53 percent from the floor but was plagued by 3-point shooting (28 percent) and turnovers (11). The Lancers held a 20-12 rebound advantage.

Cade led all players in the first half with 14 points. Haden Deaton had 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

Cade continued his hot start to the season, scoring the first two points of the second half in the paint.

Grace began the second half on a 9-3 run to go ahead by three.

After Concordia battled back to tie the game at 51, Grace took control of the game. Deaton blocked a shot, and Frankie Davidson found a streaking Matt Jennings for a fastbreak score.

Grace maintained a slight lead halfway through the second half.

After staving off another Cardinal run, Jakob gave the Lancers their largest lead of the game. After a tough defensive stop, Eddie Gill IV found Jakob for a 3-point field goal to push the Lancers’ lead to seven.

With five minutes left in the game, Cade asserted himself. The forward scored six points and grabbed three offensive boards during a two-minute stretch.

With under a minute left in regulation, Jennings made a late layup to push the Lancers’ lead to a game-high 15 points. Concordia continued to battle down the stretch, but the Lancers secured the 88-78 win.

Jakob went for 14 points and six rebounds in his collegiate opener, while Jennings had 14 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds.

Deaton also scored in double digits with 12 points. Davidson was a force in the defensive paint, grabbing 10 rebounds with two blocks and three steals.

Johnson tallied seven points and six boards, and freshman Elijah Malone had an assist and two blocked shots off the bench in his Grace debut.

As a team Grace dominated in the paint with 58 points from in close. The Lancers also held a 45-28 rebound advantage.

Grace continued to shoot lights-out from the field in the second half, finishing the game at 54 percent.

The Lancers will play their first game of the season at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center on Friday at 7:30 p.m. when they host Ohio Christian.