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Grace men fall in Crossroads final

Led by Zach Miller’s 22 points, No. 18 Bethel won the Crossroads League tournament with a 70-65 victory over Grace on Tuesday night in Mishawaka.

Bethel opened the game with a 36-21 run, culminating with a jump shot by Matt Schauss with 4:06 remaining in the first half.

Grace fought back, and Jared Treadway’s shot from the paint with 35 seconds remaining in the game cut the Bethel lead to 65-62, but then Miller made a pair of free throws.

After Grace got within 67-65 on a Niko Read free throw, Miller again made a free throw for a three-point lead with 14 second left and the game was soon out of reach.

Read led Grace with 15points on 4-of-8 shooting. He was 3-of-7 from 3-point range.

Teammate Logan Irwin had 14 points. Jared Treadway added 11 for Grace (18-13, 8-1), which was the tournament’s sixth seed.

Bethel (25-7, 12-6), which was the fourth seed, gets an automatic berth to the NAIA national championships in Branson, Mo.

VALPARAISO 73, ILLINOIS-CHICAGO 63: In Valparaiso, Alec Peters scored 29 points and the fourth-seeded Crusaders topped the ninth-seeded Flames in the first round of the Horizon League tournament.

Peters scored eight points during an 18-5 run as Valparaiso (18-14) opened a 31-18 lead, en route to a 39-28 halftime advantage.

Illinois-Chicago (6-25) cut the deficit to 59-56 with 6:29 remaining. But the Crusaders scored the next four points as Peters made a free throw before LaVonte Dority added three free throws less than a minute later for a 63-56 lead.

Marc Brown led Illinois-Chicago with 16 points. Valparaiso will play fifth-seeded Milwaukee in a quarterfinal matchup Friday.

EASTERN MICHIGAN 72, BALL STATE 58: In Ypsilanti, Mich., Ray Lee and Darell Combs each scored a dozen points as the Eagles closed out their home schedule.

Eastern Michigan led by as many as 11 points in the first half and pushed it to 15 midway through the second. Combs’ three-point play in the final minute gave the Eagles a 17-point advantage, but Quinten Payne drilled a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to create the final margin.

Eastern Michigan (18-12, 10-7 Mid-American Conference) started five seniors on Senior Night. Normally a starter, Mike Talley came off the bench to score 10 points.

Majok Majok scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Ball State (5-23, 2-15) as the Cardinals outrebounded Eastern Michigan, 45-37. Chris Bond added 11 points.