WATERTOWN, Wis. – In the last home game of their career, seniors Matthew McGivern, Matt Hunter and Joel Borchardt almost led Maranatha to an upset over the #2 team in the North Division, Concordia Wisconsin, losing just 67-62 on Tuesday evening.
The Falcons carried a 16-9 lead in the first period before McGivern hit a three to tie the game at 18 apiece. The first half saw six tie-scores, and a late push tilted the lead 39-33 in Concordia’s favor at the half.
Maranatha’s defensive intensity keyed the team’s success during the evening, with multiple defenders suffocating the shooter and pushing the shot clock down to single-digits.
The Crusaders held Concordia to 20% shooting in the second half despite missing Borchardt, who finished the first half with 11 points while resting his ankle in the second.
Concordia’s largest lead—eight points, lasted just three minutes into the second period, and neither team carried more than a four-point lead for 16 minutes.
With the clock down to 4:37, Concordia’s 58-54 lead evaporated into a 59-59 tie on a three by Hunter, but the team struggled with turnovers down the stretch and Concordia Wisconsin hit a layup and free-throws to put the game just out of reach.
McGivern finished with 15 points and five assists while Hunter had 14 points and went 4-8 from beyond the arc.
“Concordia Wisconsin is one of the top teams and is very well coached. We played the 2-3 zone really well, but they were too long and deep. Our seniors played well and it’s been my privilege to coach these men. If Joel was healthy in the second half, it would have given our team a strong chance of winning,” stated head coach Keith Salscheider.
Maranatha faces NCCAAII foe, Northland International on Thursday in Dunbar, Wis. at 7:30 p.m.