MILWAUKEE, Wis. – In a rematch from a 51-50 win over MSOE on January 14, Maranatha made sure the score didn’t come anywhere close to their first meeting, defeating the Raiders 64-35 and clinching a berth in the Northern Athletics Tournament.
The Crusaders opened the game on a tear thanks to senior guards Kristin Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.) and Hallie Sheley (Rockford, Ill.), who vaulted the team to a 12-1 lead.
The onslaught continued with a 66% shooting performance from the field as Sheley recorded 11 first half points on 5-6 shooting while breaking the 1,000 point plateau for career points.
Sheley finished with an efficient 15 points on 7-9 shooting in just 16 minutes.
MSOE managed to cut the lead to six points, but four minutes later, the lead ballooned to 17 due in large part to a trio of three-pointers.
Maranatha held an 18-8 advantage in points off turnovers in the first half en route to a 38-17 halftime lead.
In the second period, the Crusaders simmered down, shooting 37%, but still managed their biggest lead of the game at 55-20 as MSOE shot just 17% on 5-29 shooting and went 1-11 from beyond the arc.
Senior guard Autumn Peotter (Waupaca, Wis.) had 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and six steals, while freshman Kaitlyn Rygh (Grayson, Ga.) grabbed 10 rebounds off the bench in just eight minutes.
Maranatha moves on to face Aurora University on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Aurora, Ill.