OSHKOSH, WI – The men’s basketball team had multiple opportunities to take the lead against the UW-Oshkosh Titans throughout the first period, but it was the home team that did just enough in the second period, to pull away from the Maranatha Baptist University Crusaders on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman guard Brady Moses (Lodi, WI) was not his usual self, scoring just 12 points, but still on an efficient 5-12 shooting from the field. But this game belonged to Brady’s brother Tanner, who scored a season-high, 22 points on 9-14 shooting from the field, while chipping in five assists.
Tanner Moses put Maranatha up 4-0 in the opening seconds of the game, on a layup, but the Titans stringed together a run highlighted by a three, and a dunk, to own a 13-6 lead at 13:30 on the clock.
On Maranatha’s next possession, Brady hit a three for just a four-point deficit, another rainbow from beyond the arc put Maranatha within 15-12, several minutes later.
The Titans responded with a 5-0 run in the next two minutes, yet they were never able to completely shake Maranatha, who crept within three again, on a three by Tanner Moses, and a layup by junior guard Andrew McKinney (St. Charles, IA).
The next few minutes followed a similar pattern, as UW-Oshkosh would find just enough breathing room, only to watch a resilient Crusader’s claw their way back into contention. Their closest chance to overtake the Titans came with just 5:27 left in the period, when McKinney knifed his way through the defense, to give Maranatha just a 22-21 deficit.
Shortly thereafter, UW-Oshkosh was able to build up to a 31-24 lead that would stand pat until the halftime break. Neither team held a significant edge in one category, except 2nd chance points, 13-2, and points in the paint, 32-16, both in favor of Oshkosh.
A strong first half though by Moses, and the Crusaders, was thwarted by a 51% performance from the field, for the Titans, whom Maranatha simply could not catch.
The Crusaders certainly made it difficult for the home team, when a three by Brady brought Maranatha, when a layup by senior forward Kyle Kutz (Cambridge, WI), had Maranatha trailing 40-32, that led to a surge, halfway through the period.
UW-Oshkosh’s one time, 12-point lead, had vanished into just five points, courtesy of a big three by freshman guard David Wenthold (Geneseo, IL), that kick-started everything.
Tanner Moses followed up with an and-one, where the steady shooter would hit the free-throw attempt, and on the next possession, freshman Clayton Morrison (Jefferson, WI) completed the drive, with a driving layup, and just a 53-49 differential.
Yet the Titans would slowly pull away, despite a slow stretch, taking advantage of several Maranatha turnovers, to hand the Crusaders their 11th loss of the season.
For Maranatha, the tough loss is a sign of improvement, as the team continues to mesh, and hopes for a win against Dayspring Bible, at home, on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.