WATERTOWN, Wis. – From start to finish the Regents and Crusaders gave the fans a thriller as the Regents pulled away late for a 72-65 win on Saturday night.
Sophomore center Brett Cashner (Urbana, Ill.) received his fill, being fed the ball down low in the post, early and often, en route to a 24 point performance on 11-16 shooting.
Junior forward Joel Borchardt connected with Cashner on a beautiful pass to give Maranatha an 18-17 lead, going 5-5 in the first half.
In the second half, Cashner continued his interior dominance by keeping Maranatha always within striking distance.
Striking distance seemed out of reach though, when Rockford built a 50-39 lead with 12:22 left in the game.
A quick three by sophomore forward Kyle Kutz (Cambridge, Wis.) and layups by Borchardt and Cashner capped an 11-0 run, tying the game at 50 apiece with 7:39 left.
That tie would turn into a 56-52 Rockford lead on a dagger from beyond the arc by guard Paul Hall.
The Crusaders’ showed resilience though, twice in the waning seconds of the game, the first off a late three by Borchardt to cut the lead to 65-59 with 36.6 seconds left.
The other occasion was a rebound and put back by freshman guard Caleb Burch (Eau Claire, Wis.) to again cut the lead to 67-61.
The Regents finally ended any hope of a comeback by ending the game on free-throw shots.
Borchardt rounded out the box score with 21 points and seven rebounds with two steals and five assists.
“Brett has worked so hard and Coach Borchardt worked with him to build his confidence. We did a great job of tying the game at 50, but the turnovers really hurt us. It was great to see Matt have eight assists after being honored before the game for his school record,” Ring stated.
Ring was referring to junior guard Matt McGivern (Milwaukee, Wis.), who was honored before the game with a game ball for achieving the school assists record in a loss to Benedictine last week.
The Crusaders face the Warriors in an away matchup on Tuesday, January 31 at 7:00 p.m.