WATERTOWN, Wis. – Maranatha made quick work of the Tigers Saturday afternoon, winning 81-39 and securing the NCCAAII Midwest Regional crown.
The Crusaders wasted little time in the opening minutes, hitting three consecutive three-pointers en route to a 23-0 lead.
Grace managed to cut the lead to 32-17 on a layup by Keri Rudd, but had a tough time against the stingy Crusader defense.
Maranatha forced 29 Grace turnovers and had 17 steals in a team-wide effort.
NCCAAII Midwest Region Player of the Year, Jessica Sikorski, was also held in check by sophomore center Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, Ill.). Sikorski later fouled out of the game after picking up 15 points and nine rebounds.
Junior guard Hallie Nelson (Rockford, Ill.) led the team with 15 points, three assists and two steals, while junior forward Torey DeLozier picked up 13 rebounds and nine points.
Junior guard Kristin Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.) drew closer to the 1,000 point plateau, with 10 points, three rebounds and two steals.
Morrison currently needs 21 points to break the career 1,000 point mark.
The Crusaders move on to the National Tournament at Ohio Christian University on March 8-10 in Circleville, Ohio.