WATERTOWN, WI—The Crusader women’s basketball team mustered up a gutsy performance against the Archers of Moody Bible Institute Thursday night, outlasting the familiar NCCAA opponent through forty minutes of regulation and one overtime period to win to the tune of 55-54. With the victory, Maranatha moves back to .500 in NCCAA play, with an identical overall record of 3-3.
The game began very slowly for both teams, as Maranatha led by the mere margin of 10-5 after eight long minutes of action. Thanks to two straight layups by freshman Avonlea Kisner (Pleasant Prairie, WI), however, the Crusaders were able to extend the lead to 14-5 as the first half reached the midway point.
Led by senior Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, IL) with 8 first half points on 50% shooting, Maranatha would surge to a 15-8 run throughout the next ten minutes of action, and enter the break leading by the margin of 29-13.
The Archers struggled through possibly their worst half of basketball this season during the first twenty minutes, shooting a dismal 13% from the field while turning the ball over a dozen times.
Moody’s woes would continue early on in the second, as the Crusaders increased the lead to twenty at 36-16 just four and a half minutes into the second half. After a timeout by Coach Huff of the Archers, however, Moody was able to score eight straight points to narrow the margin to 36-24 with 11 minutes remaining.
The Archers would continue to slowly chip away at the Crusader lead throughout the next ten minutes, as Maranatha was plagued with ten second half turnovers while only shooting 22% from the field.
With under three minutes remaining, a successful layup by dominant low post player Jenna Bloodworth (Rochester Hills, MI) reduced Maranatha’s big lead all the way down to two points, with the score reading 44-42. Bloodworth, who missed most of the first half due to a minor shoulder injury, came back strong in the second to lead all scorers with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Back-and-forth play ensued throughout the next two and half minutes of action, with Bloodworth tying the game at 46 all with just 29 seconds left in regulation. Throughout the next thirty seconds, neither team could set to even get a shot off, as each team turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions, sending the game to overtime.
Maranatha began the overtime period with five straight points, thanks to a quick layup by sophomore forward Stacy Reinke (Clintonville, WI), followed by a three pointer from senior Allison Schulz (Chillicothe, IL).
The Crusaders would never look back, holding the Archers scoreless throughout the final minute of action to win by the tight margin of 55-54. Maranatha registered two players in double digit scoring, with Peterson notching 12 points and 5 rebounds, while Schulz followed closely behind with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
The Crusaders move to an even 3-3 on the year, and look forward to their first non-NCCAA match-up of the season when they will take on the Lumberjills of Northland College of Ashland, WI, at home on Saturday, December 14th. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m., with the men’s game to follow at 5 p.m.