GRAND RAPIDS, MI—The Maranatha men’s basketball team notched higher than ninety points in each of their two games over the weekend, and left the 2013 NCCAA Tip-Off Tournament at a 1-1 mark, now 2-5 overall.
The Crusaders began their journey Thursday morning, with intentions of lining up against NCCAA Midwest Regional foe Kuyper College at 8 p.m. on Thursday evening. Due to game clock and other technical difficulties, however, this game was postponed until further notice.
Thankfully, the next day saw the issues resolved, and Maranatha was able to take the court against the Lions of Multnomah at 4 p.m. EST. Multnomah University is located in Portland, OR, and the Lions are always among the top-ranked teams in the country for NCCAA DII programs.
The Crusaders were introduced to Multnomah’s high-level, frenetic pace of play in just the opening minutes, as the Lions shot 59% from the field on nearly fifty shots in the first half, while going 13-26 from three point range.
The Lions would finish with an impressive 82 points in the first half, while the Crusaders also produced solid numbers on offense, shooting 60% from both the field and three point line, amounting to 51 first half points.
To begin the second, Multnomah would relieve some of the full court pressure, and the contest resulted in much tighter play as the Lions outscored Maranatha by simply two points to the tune of 44-42. The Lions would earn their fifth win of the season by the margin of 126-93, while Maranatha falls to 1-4 in NCCAA play.
Freshman Brady Moses (Lodi, WI) was once again the leader for the Crusader offense, as he tallied 30 points on 46% shooting and 56% from 3-pt range. Freshman guard David Wenthold (Geneseo, IL) also added firepower to the Maranatha offense, contributing 19 points on 57% shooting while adding 8 rebounds.
The Crusaders would lace it up once again on Saturday, this time matched up against the Crusaders of Great Lakes Christian College at 4 p.m.
The first half featured back-and-forth play as each team shot nearly 55% from the field, with Maranatha totaling a ridiculous 7-9 from three point land throughout the first twenty minutes. This hot shooting from deep would not be enough to give Maranatha the lead, however, as they entered the break trailing 42-36.
The Crusaders great shooting would continue on into the second though, as they tallied a perfect 5-5 from behind the arc, and 59% overall. The Crusaders of Great Lakes were up for the challenge, however, as the match featured 11 lead changes and 7 ties.
One of those ties occurred as the second half buzzer sounded, as Maranatha outscored Great Lakes 41-35 in the second half, knotting the score at 77 all to send the game into overtime.
The extra period would play into Maranatha’s favor, as the Crusaders outscored Great Lakes 18-12 to earn their second win of the season at 95-89. Maranatha was led by the heroics of center Brett Cashner (Urbana, IL), as the 6’6” junior tallied a double-double with 30 points and 13 rebounds, while shooting an unbelievable 12-13 from the field. Coming in second was freshman guard Brady Moses, who notched 25 points and a perfect 5-5 from three-point territory.
Maranatha is now 2-5 overall, and 2-4 in NCCAA play. The Crusaders will enjoy a week long break before hosting the Lumberjacks of Northland College at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14th.