ST. PAUL, MN—The Crusader men’s basketball team began their 2013-14 regular season by participating in two games at the Northwestern tournament on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16.
Maranatha first took the court on Friday evening, lining up against the University of Northwestern. The Eagles of Northwestern are always amidst the top-ranked leaders of NCAA DIII national teams, so the Crusaders opened their season against a very formidable opponent.
After the first four minutes, Maranatha found themselves out to the 12-8 lead, thanks to good defense and five quick points from senior forward Scott Sutter (Cincinnati, OH).
The Eagles would then answer with a 13-0 run of their own, however, with 7 of those points coming courtesy of junior forward Thomas Shephard (Crystal, ND). With just under 10 minutes left in the first half, the Eagles controlled at 25-14.
Back and forth play throughout the remaining nine minutes increased the score to 49-36 at halftime, with the Eagles never trailing during the last 14:26 of the first period.
Northwestern came out with a vengeance to start the second, surging to a 17-6 run in the first five minutes of the second half.
The closest Maranatha would come to the lead throughout the rest of the match came at the 11:39 mark, thanks to a three pointer by junior point guard Tanner Moses (Lodi, WI), which decreased the lead to 19 at 72-53.
The Eagles would earn their first victory of the season, defeating the Crusaders 100-69, in a game which witnessed the two Moses brothers carrying the load for a young Crusader team.
Freshman guard Brady Moses (Lodi, WI) led all scorers with 22 points in his college debut, notching an impressive 4-6 from three point range. Junior brother Tanner Moses was the second leading scorer, registering 18 points to go along with 5 assists and 2 steals.
On Saturday, the men’s team took the court once again, this time faced against the Rams of North Central University.
Maranatha was no match for North Central throughout the first seven minutes of action, which displayed the Rams jumping out to the quick 20-5 lead, thanks to 10 tough points in the paint.
The remaining thirteen minutes of the first half proved to be perfectly balanced, however, as Maranatha outscored the Rams 31-30, with the score at 50-36 heading into the break.
Entering the second, North Central was able to maintain the significant lead for the first fifteen minutes of action, but the relentless Crusader attack, led once again by freshman Brady Moses, cut the deficit to 74-71 with 4:45 remaining. Moses registered 16 out of the Crusader 35 points during that fifteen minute period, and helped place the Crusaders in a position late down the stretch to obtain their first victory of the season.
The Rams pressure would prove too strong in the remaining minutes, however, as North Central finished on a 14-9 run to win at 88-80, obtaining their first win of the season.
Maranatha was spurred by stellar play from freshman sensation Brady Moses once again, who led all scorers with 34 points and 4 rebounds, while going a near perfect 11-13 from the charity stripe. Freshman guard David Wenthold (Geneseo, IL) was the second leading scorer for the Crusaders, notching 11 points while going an impressive 3-4 from downtown.
The Crusaders left St. Paul, MN at 0-2, and hope to obtain that elusive first win in their next early-season tournament journey to the FBBC tournament on Nov. 22-23 in Ankeny, IA.