AURORA, Ill. – Maranatha endured multiple tie scores, a deficit at halftime and a pesky Aurora team, defeating the Spartans 81-69 on Saturday afternoon.
Maranatha did not own a double-digit lead until the waning minutes of the game, but used 60% shooting from the field in the second half and shooting 19-23 (82%) from the free throw line in the game.
After gaining a 23-14 lead on a layup by freshman forward Stacy Reinke (Clintonville, Wis.), the teams exchanged leads before settling on a 32-32 tie on a made free-throw by senior forward Torey DeLozier (Watertown, Wis.).
On the next possession though, Aurora’s Bethany Dorrington hit a go-ahead three-pointer just before the end of the period for a 35-32 halftime lead.
The second half started off almost the same as the first with three tie-scores in the first five minutes, as the game would end with nine and 10 lead changes.
Aurora carried the lead though—39-32 in the opening minute of the first half before DeLozier’s layup knotted things up at 40 apiece.
Neither team seized a lead greater than five until Maranatha finally broke through with just less than nine minutes left in the game on a big layup by senior guard Autumn Peotter (Waupaca, Wis.).
Aurora chipped right away at the lead for a 65-61 deficit, but momentum had swung Maranatha’s way when free-throws from senior guard Kristin Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.) boosted the lead to ten.
The team put the game away the game from the free-throw line, hitting 13-15 of their shots en route to their 16th win and 12th NAC victory.
DeLozier powered the team with a season-high 27 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. Peotter also had 20 points, nine rebounds and two steals while both Morrison and senior guard Hallie Sheley (Rockford, Ill.) posted 10 points apiece.