WATERTOWN, WI – From the opening tip, to the sound of the halftime buzzer, the women’s basketball team seemed to control their own destiny with a 34-21 halftime lead against the Silver Lake Lakers on Thursday evening. But the Crusaders entered familiar territory in the second half, watching the Lakers put on an incredible run to tie, and send the game into overtime, where freshman guard Courtney Dunn (Oshkosh, WI) put the game away on free throws.
On multiple occasions, the Crusaders have entered the second period this season, only to have the opponent come back and seize momentum. This time though, Maranatha’s resolve, and grit, won the game, despite the number of turnovers committed by both teams.
Maranatha and Silver Lake combined for 63 turnovers in the game, but big games from senior center Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, IL), who had 15 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks, and Dunn, vaulted Maranatha to their fifth win of the season.
In the opening minutes of the second period, Silver Lake hit several shots that cut the deficit to single-digits, yet Maranatha was the team in control, owning a 43-32 lead at 13:58 left in the game. But the next few minutes saw a shift in momentum, with a 10-3 run that forced a Maranatha timeout at nine and a half minutes.
The game teetered in the balance in the ensuing minutes, as Maranatha fought for a small lead, hitting just enough shots to hold Silver Lake at Bay. The Lakers could only be held so long, when a free-throw shot by Silver Lake’s Amanda Kudick, tied the game at 54 apiece with just 40 seconds remaining.
The lead tilted in Maranatha’s way on the next possession, as senior guard Allison Schulz (Chillicothe, IL), and Dunn, both hit a pair of clutch free-throws to give Maranatha a four-point lead with 20 seconds left. Yet, four points was not enough, with a pair of free-throws from the Lakers, and finally, a big three-pointer to tie, and ultimately send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Dunn and Peterson carried the team on their backs, the latter hitting the second shot of overtime for a 61-58 lead, and the former, nailing a big three with three minutes remaining. The Lakers came as close as one, with 19 seconds left, but Schulz came through with another pair of free-throws, and Dunn finished with the game’s final points, none other than free-throws, to end the game with 16 points and five assists.
Schulz finished with 14 points while going 5-6 from the line, and senior guard Erin Steuerwald (Whitewater, WI) posted 13 points and four rebounds.
Maranatha travels to Dunbar, WI, to face Northland International University on Thursday, January 23, at 5:30 p.m.