NEW ULM, MN – The men’s basketball team gave the Martin Luther Knights fits on Thursday evening, despite losing 81-65, in what was a highly contest match throughout the first half, and into the second, until the Knights pulled away with under eight minutes in the game.
The lead belonged to Martin Luther in the opening minutes of the game, but Maranatha never made it easy on the Knights throughout the first period, tying the game three times while shooting while going to the free-throw line 18 times and shooting 78%.
After the home team carried a four-point lead at the 17 minute mark in the first period, junior center Brett Cashner (Urbana, IL) and freshman guard David Wenthold (Geneseo, IL) each hit three’s to snag a two-point lead, the team’s first of the game.
But after three minutes of scoreless possession, the Knights grabbed an 11-10 lead on a three and built it up to six, a minute later. Although Martin Luther carried a consistent lead, Maranatha kept the deficit in single digits the entire half, often within five points.
The Crusaders’ biggest lead of the game came on a pair of free throws by freshman guard Brady Moses (Lodi, WI), at the 3:11 mark, as Moses also hit a three the possession before to give Maranatha a two-point lead. Moses was 5-6 from the charity stripe in the first half.
The lead tilted back to the Knights though, 35-33, entering halftime, and the opening of the second period saw a similar pattern to the first. After a layup by junior guard Tanner Moses (Lodi, WI) that tied the game for the fifth time, Martin Luther slowly built up a seven-point lead that once again evaporated to two on a layup by junior forward Jackson Miller (Marinette, WI).
Despite a strong performance from the Crusaders, it was the Knights that came away with the win, as the Crusaders received 19 points and four rebounds from Cashner, and 14 points from Moses, who finished the night, 10-12 from the free-throw line.
Maranatha will face Crossroads College on Friday at 7:00 p.m., in Rochester, MN.