Final: (RV) Evangel 70, Graceland 49 | Final Stats
Records: Evangel (16-7, 9-5); Graceland (7-19, 3-12)
Site: Morden Center
LAMONI, Iowa – Evangel opened the second half of its Heart Conference matchup against Graceland with a 14-4 scoring run and never looked back in an eventual 70-49 victory over the Yellowjackets Saturday afternoon at the Morden Center.
Cade Coffman, who accounted for half of Evangel's 14 points during the key spurt, led a Valor offense that shot 0.551 from the floor, including 9-of-18 from three-point range, for the day. Coffman tallied 18 points on 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc, including a run-capping trey that handed EU a 43-28 lead with 15:28 to play.
Evangel's defense also played a pivotal role in the victory—the Valor's ninth win in 12 true road contests this season. EU limited the Yellowjackets to just 0.297 (19-of-64) shooting overall and just 5-of-27 from three-point range in holding GU to the second-lowest point total by an Evangel opponent this season.
Just as they would open the second half, the Valor used a 14-4 run in the opening stanza to overcome an early Graceland advantage. Coffman keyed that outburst as well, knocking down his first two triples of the afternoon to help EU establish a 16-9 lead with just over 13 minutes to play in the half.
GU chipped away at the lead, getting a Gabe Robinson three to pull to within two points.
But Josh Pritchett buried a jumper from beyond the arc to start an 8-0 EU spurt. Pavel Antonov added a bucket to make it a seven-point game, before Manrique Alvarado knocked down a three to extend the margin to 24-14 with 5:13 left on the clock.
The Yellowjackets closed the half on a high note, as C.J. Wilson connected on a pair of three-point attempts, including one with just two seconds left on the clock that trimmed the EU lead to 29-24 at the break.
Pritchett opened the second half with a basket on EU's initial possession, then sank a three-pointer to push the lead back into double digits. Coffman followed with a pair of free throws and a triple to make it a 15-point contest.
The Valor stretched its cushion to as many as 21 points on three separate occasions, as GU never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
In addition to Coffman's performance, Pritchett totaled 12 points, while Alvarado added 11 points and four assists for the Valor.
Evangel concludes its two-game road swing with a Monday (Feb. 7) evening matchup with Baker in Baldwin City, Kan.
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