WATERTOWN, Wis. – The Crusaders bolted out to an early 12-4 lead only to watch the Warriors roar back for a 58-45 win.
Junior guard Autumn Peotter (Waupaca, Wis.) and junior forward Torey DeLozier (Watertown, Wis.) kicked things off with two steals and juniors Hallie Nelson (Rockford, Ill.) scored on several fast break points.
The 12-4 lead turned into a 21-14 lead before the Warriors defense put the clamps on Maranatha, holding them scoreless for the rest of the half for a 34-21 halftime lead.
That scoreless drought would continue until Peotter hit a jumper and three-pointer to jump-start their offense.
The Crusaders edged as close as 48-41 on a three-pointer from sophomore center Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, Ill.), but couldn’t capitalize on scoring opportunities to fall to 6-5 on the season and 1-5 in the NAC.
DeLozier finished with 13 points and six rebounds, while Peotter was 5-11 from field goal range for 11 points and five assists.
The Crusaders move on to face Aurora at home on Saturday, January 14 at 2:00 p.m.