(GraceTigers.com news release)
Ankeny, IA – After both suffering overtime defeats in the semifinals, the University of Valley Forge and Grace Bible College faced off in the NCCAA DII Third Place Game Saturday afternoon. The Patriots and Tigers were familiar with each other, as they had just met up in the Mideast Regional Final game two weeks prior, with the Tigers winning that match-up 84-75, and back in December when the Patriots upended the Tigers 84-81.
Although the Tigers were disappointed about missing out on the championship game, they came out and played well en route to a 79-69 victory for the 3rd place plaque. This is the first 3rd place finish for Grace in school history, as they have never been able to pick up a win after a final four loss, their two most recent losses in the same situation coming in 2014 and 2015.
Senior Jared Bradford scored 19 points and dished out 5 assists, both team-highs in his final game as a Tiger. Adding to the handful of honors he has received throughout his storied four-year career, Bradford was also named one of the 5 All-Tournament team players for his performance throughout the week. He also hit 106 3-point field goals this season, now holding the all-time GBC game, season, and career 3-point records. His 591 total points is the 9th most ever put up by an individual in a season, finishing in 3rd place on the all-time scorers list at 1,849 career points. Austin Jackson played well to close out his sophomore season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Grant Garrison rounded out the Tigers in double figures with 13 points.
Grace finishes their season at 26-10 overall, the 4th most wins in the program’s storied history.
*Randall University went on to win their second straight NCCAA DII Championship later on Saturday night.