Maranatha opened the game with Kuyper at their heels, 16-13, but turned on the after-burners with 20 points from senior center Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, IL), on 7-11 shooting from the field. Peterson also had seven rebounds, and went 4-5 from the free-throw line.
Peterson had plenty of help against the Cougars, with 15 points from freshman guard Courtney Dunn (Oshkosh, WI), and 13 points apiece from seniors Allison Schulz (Chillicothe, IL), and Erin Steuerwald (Whitewater, WI).
As a team, Maranatha shot 47% from the field, in the first half, and simply out-muscled Kuyper on the boards, with a 44-24 edge.
The Crusaders’ stifling defense also held the Cougars to just 28% from the field, and 20% from three-point range, in the first half.
Maranatha looks to avenge a loss to Lincoln, earlier in the season, with a 6:00 p.m. rematch, on Friday, in the semifinal game.