WATERTOWN, WI—The Maranatha women’s basketball team dropped their first home and regular season game of the 2013-14 season, losing to the Rams of North Central University 54-67. The Rams used a stifling full court press and good, low-post offense to initiate a second half outburst that would prove too much for the Crusaders to overcome.
Tonight marked the first time in several years that the Crusaders opened their regular season with a home match, as they usually begin the year at a weekend tournament away from the familiarity of Maranatha. The Crusaders quickly benefited from this home court advantage, spurring to an immediate 13-4 lead thanks to back-to-back buckets from sophomore forward Stacy Reinke (Clintonville, WI).
Maranatha would possess the nine point lead all the way until five minutes left in the first half, when a North Central 10-5 run narrowed the margin to 28-27 in favor of the Crusaders going into the break. Over these last five minutes, the Rams were lifted by senior guard Jorie Grenell (Lakeville, MN), who registered 7 points in the remaining minutes.
To begin the second half, both teams used low-post play and pressure defense to keep the game tight, as the score remained knotted at 40-40 with 13:24 left in the second.
Careless play from the Crusaders and missed layups opened the door for North Central, however, as the Rams rallied forward to the 51-40 lead in just four minutes of action.
This deficit would prove too much for Maranatha to be able to overcome, as the Crusaders turned the ball over a disappointing fourteen times in the second half and shot merely 36% from the field.
The Rams would maintain the lead until the final whistle blew, thanks to good free throw shooting in the second half at an 88% clip.
For Maranatha, sophomore Stacy Reinke led the team with 17 points, knocking down 3 shots from behind the arc while also grabbing 6 rebounds. Senior Laci Peterson followed closely behind, registering 12 points to go along with 18 rebounds and 4 blocks.
After a hard fought, but disappointing first loss, the women’s basketball team will travel to Ankeny, IA, this weekend to compete in the Faith Baptist Bible College Tournament. Their first match-up will take place on Friday at 2 p.m., as they tip off against the Crusaders of Manhattan Christian College.