Winona Lake, I.N.- Emmanuel College Men's Basketball played against Grace College for third place in the NCCAA National Championship, which they won with a final score of 79-78. Emmanuel won the National Championship for 2016, but lost this year to Ohio Christian on day 2 of the tournament. Top scorers of today's game were Zach Lillie, Emerson McClung, Ronnie Stanley and Derek Vandiver.
Emerson McClung started out the first half in the first ten seconds of the game with a two-point shot. After Greenville College scoring a couple shots in the row, Ronnie Stanley put up his first 3-pointer of the game. Zach Lillie was fouled after that shot by Ronnie Stanley and scored both of his free throws. Derek Vandiver entered the game and put up his first 3-pointer, which pushed the Lions up to be down by one 15-14. Zach Lillie was fouled two more times by Grace and made all his shots. The Lions took over the lead 17-19. Austin Greene stole the ball from Grace and Ronnie Stanley put up his second 3-pointer of the game to pull the Lions in the lead, 21-22. Ronnie Stanley assisted Zach Lillie with a complete jump shot. Austin Greene stole the ball from Grace once more, but no points were made. Zach Lillie scored well this game and put up a layup. Colton Collins scored his first points of the half with a jump shot. Emerson McClung put up another shot, but Grace fired right back and took over the lead, 31-30. Colton Collins drove up the center to put up a layup. Grace shown steady offensive rebounds allowing their players to put back up their shots. Zach Lillie was fouled and made one of his shots, but Grace was now up by three. Emerson McClung scored his tenth point of the game with a drive through traffic to put up a layup. Austin Greene did a lot so far this half, but put up his first two points with 30 seconds left on the clock. Derek Vandiver shot a 3-pointer and made it on the buzzer to bring the Lions up 42-40 going into the second half.
The Lions needed to come out ready to snag some rebounds in this half. Zach Lillie led off the second half with a layup over Grace, for his 14th point of the game. Colton Collins made his first 3-pointer of the game. Ronnie Stanley put up his second 3-pointer of the game. Derek Vandiver fired up his second 3-pointer with an assist by Ronnie Stanley. Zach Lillie snagged an offensive rebound and put up a good two points. Ronnie Stanley put up his third 3-pointer to tie the game, 53-53. Derek Vandiver fired up his third 3-pointer to push the Lions forward. Grace took off scoring, but Lions caught up with a fourth 3-pointer from Derek Vandiver. Scoring was very consistent between the two teams, but Ronnie scored his fourth 3-pointer and taking back over the lead 68-66. Austin Greene was fouled and made one shot, but Grace tied the game up. Ronnie Stanley hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game, which brought the Lions in front 72-69. Emerson McClung scored a good two points, but Grace came back and the score was 74-72. Austin Greene was fouled and made one of his shots making it a three- point game. Grace had a one point lead with 52 seconds. Emerson McClung went up and was fouled. Emerson McClung made both of his shots. Grace came back and is up by one point with 12 seconds left. Austin Greene drove down the court on his own and scored a layup to win the game for the Lions. The final score of the game was 79-78.
This game was the final collegiate game for Zach Lillie, Zach Vess, and Ronnie Stanley, which they ended on a good note with a third-place win. The Lions had a great season overall with an overall record of 20-12.
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