WATERTOWN, Wis. – It took the final minutes of the game for the Concordia Chicago Cougars to pull away from the Crusaders in a 75-69 win on Saturday afternoon.
Maranatha held a lead for a majority of the first half, including a 13-3 lead on a jumper by senior forward Joel Borchardt (Watertown, Wis.).
The lead diminished though in the next two minutes as Concordia went on a 14-4 run to tie the game at 17 apiece. The teams exchanged leads four times in the first half, with Concordia ahead, 36-35 at halftime.
Maranatha kept the game close in the second period, holding a 48-45 lead and never allowing Concordia more than a six-point lead.
With four minutes left in the game, Borchardt’s layup once again cut the deficit to 60-59, but could come no closer as the Cougars hit several big shots and some free-throws down the stretch.
“I’m proud of the guys’ heart and dedication, and am really excited about chemistry this team has developed. We are setting ourselves up for success later in the year with the resiliency in spit of injuries. Joel and Matt were huge tonight as leaders on this team and assistant coaches Jeff Borchardt and John Teasdale’s contributions have made this team better. I’m very excited that the guys have really bought into the system and are learning it very well,” stated head coach Keith Salscheider.
Borchardt finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals. Sophomore forward Zach Janes (Kiowa, Colo.) started the game and finished with 11 points, and five rebounds in 26 minutes.
Senior point guard Matthew McGivern (Milwaukee, Wis.) also had 11 points, eight assists and a steal.
Maranatha faces Wisconsin Lutheran on Saturday, January 5 at 4:15 p.m. at home.