ANKENY, IA—The Maranatha men’s basketball team competed in two very close games over the weekend, first defeating Faith Baptist Bible College 80-78 on Friday evening, but then losing to Manhattan Christian College in overtime on Saturday afternoon, 79-78.
The Crusaders first tipped off against the host team at 8 p.m. on Friday evening, and quickly found themselves trailing 3-13 just five minutes into the first half.
Faith would hold and even increase the lead to 16 over the next ten minutes, thanks to nine points from freshman forward Aaron Leistikow (St. Charles, MN). Leistikow would finish as the high man for the Eagles, tallying a game high 27 points on 53% shooting.
Maranatha would work to cut the deficit to 33-43 at halftime, as freshman guard David Wenthold (Geneseo, IL) led the charge with 14 first half points while going 4-5 from three point range.
The Crusaders responded strongly out of the break, erasing the deficit to 47-50 in just the first three minutes of play. The Eagles would maintain about a five point margin all the way until the ten minute mark, however, when a jumper by senior forward Kyle Kutz (Cambridge, WI) brought the Crusaders to within one at 59-60.
Maranatha would take the lead moments later, as sophomore guard Andrew McKinney (St. Charles, IA) connected on a shot that would give the Crusaders the 63-62 advantage.
The Crusaders would never lose the lead throughout the remaining seven minutes, as they rallied from trailing for over thirty minutes to win by the tune of 80-78.
Freshman guards David Wenthold and Brady Moses (Lodi, WI) both led the Crusaders with 20 points apiece, while senior Kyle Kutz completed the high scoring trio by notching 13.
Maranatha would continue their weekend play with a match-up against the Crusaders of Manhattan Christian College at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and found themselves trailing 2-7 just four and half minutes into the game. Maranatha would witness that deficit increase to 10-18 as the half neared the ten minute mark.
Over the next five minutes, however, freshman guard Brady Moses connected on three out of four jumpers, helping to even the score at 22-22 with just 5:17 remaining in the first.
The game would go back and forth from that point forward, with Maranatha finding themselves on top 32-29 as the half concluded.
Manhattan would regain control after the intermission, however, surging to the 44-35 lead in the first five minutes of action.
Maranatha would mount a comeback once again though, tying the score at 54-54 with just eight minutes left, thanks to back-to-back jumpers from freshman forward Adam Courtney (Guthrie Center, IA).
Back and forth play would ensue for the remaining eight minutes, as the teams found themselves knotted at 71-71 heading into overtime.
The extra period would be all about the Crusaders of Manhattan, however, as they found the lead first and then never trailed to achieve the 79-78 victory. Freshman Adam Courtney had a potential game winning shot just seconds before the five minute period expired, but Courtney could not connect, resulting in Maranatha’s third loss of the season.
The Crusaders left Ankeny, IA, with a 1-1 record, and are now 1-3 on the season. After Thanksgiving break, the men’s team will jump into action right away, as they host the Lakers of Roosevelt University at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 2nd.