WATERTOWN, WI – The women’s basketball team started out slow, came from behind, and then blew by the Northland Pioneers in the second half of Friday’s matchup, defeating the visiting team 56-50, after suffering a 53-48 loss up in Dunbar, WI, on January 23rd.
The Crusaders failed to grab a lead in the first half as both teams struggled to score off turnovers. Neither team scored until five and a half minutes into the game, and three minutes later, the Pioneers carried a 7-5 lead.
Northland went as far as a 21-14 lead, before freshman guard Julie Roer (Marinette, WI) took a Northland turnover and scored in transition, then followed up with another easy basket, to grab a 21-18 lead.
The score would stand pat going into the halftime break, but Coach Morrison made some halftime tweeks, and the Crusaders bolted out of the gates, taking their first lead at the 17 minute mark on a three by sophomore forward Stacy Reinke (Clintonville, WI), for a 28-25 advantage.
Then the Crusaders went on a 14-4 run in the next several minutes, and scored more points than they had in the first half, emerging at the 12:50 minute mark with a 38-27 lead. The shots kept falling, and Maranatha got into the bonus at the nine-minute mark, grabbing their largest lead, 42-27, with 11 minutes left.
But Northland’s Liz Humburg (Altoona, IA) put Northland back into contention with a three, bringing her team within a 56-48 deficit, with less than two minutes to play.
On Northland’s next possession, Kate Matthai was fouled, missed a free throw, then grabbed her own rebound, and was fouled on a made basket. Matthai made both shots, but Northland could not pull off the rally, failing to foul the Crusaders in the final minutes.
Maranatha held possession to grab their seventh win of the season. Senior center Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, IL) posted 16 points, and 10 rebounds after missing the first contest against the Pioneers, while both Reinke and Roer posted 12 points apiece.
Maranatha moves on to face Grace Bible next Saturday, February 15, at 1:00 p.m. in Watertown.