Final: Evangel 66, Graceland 65 | Final Stats
Records: Evangel (13-11, 9-5); Graceland (5-19, 2-13)
Site: Morden Center
LAMONI, Iowa – After a week with no games, the Valor hit the road to take on Graceland. Kohnnar Patton played hero for EU on Saturday, hitting a clutch three with one second remaining to give the Valor a hard-fought 66-65 victory and Evangel's 400th career conference win.
Evangel needed the first quarter to warm up after a week off from games, due to their Wednesday game being postponed. Both teams traded baskets to begin the game and by the halfway point of the quarter, both teams had a combined 10 turnovers. With the game tied up at nine apiece, Abby Wildermuth nailed a three point jumper to give the Valor a 12-9 lead, one the Valor held until halfway through the third quarter. By the end of the first quarter, the Valor led, 16-13.
In the second quarter, EU found their shooting touch. The Valor scored a game high 22 points in the quarter, thanks to 12 points from their starting five and 10 points from their bench. By the halftime buzzer, EU led Graceland, 38-30. Wildermuth led the Valor with nine points.
The Valor continued their theme of low scoring third quarters as Graceland outscored EU, 12-19. The Yellowjackets began the quarter on a 15-2 run. EU only scored free throws until the 2:07 mark, when Sophie Sparks made a jumper to tie up the game at 45 apiece. Zoey Mullings and Makayla McVay traded baskets with Graceland and a Wildermuth free throw gave Evangel a 50-49 lead, heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, EU and Graceland remained deadlocked for the majority of the quarter. Both teams traded baskets until Graceland's Whitford hit a three. Evangel turned the ball over and the Yellowjackets scored a layup for a quick 5-0 swing. With Graceland leading, 62-59, with 1:22 remaining, Lexi Berry hit two free throws to trail, 62-61. Patton then hit a two point jumper to grab a lead for EU, 63-62. The Yellowjackets gained possession with the shot clock turned off and made a jumper with nine seconds on the clock. EU attempted to answer but subsequently turned the ball over. Graceland hit a free throw with eight seconds remaining to establish a 65-63 lead over the Valor, but Patton would not let the Valor go down without a chance. With three seconds remaining, Patton loaded up and fired a contested three off a feed from Wildermuth and nailed it. Alexis Roach forced a turnover on the Yellowjackets last attempt and Evangel walked away with a thrilling victory, 66-65.
The Valor were led by Wildermuth who finished the afternoon with 16 points. Sarah Lwambo pulled down a team high 11 rebounds and Patton came away with five steals for the Valor. Evangel recorded their 400th career conference victory with their win today. (400-225)
Evangel will hit the road to make up their earlier postponed matchup with the Wildcats of Baker. (Feb. 7). The game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. in the Collins Center (Baldwin City, Kan.).
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, visit Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelValor, Twitter (@EvangelValor), or EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on their favorite EU teams by downloading the Evangel Athletics Gameday App through the App Store or Google Play (https://eu-gameday.app.link/launch).