ANKENY, Iowa -- The Sabercats basketball teams will tangle with a couple of regional opponents today, and the games mean much more with everything on the line - namely, the extension of the season and a shot at the NCCAA North Region Title.
Women's Basketball Preview
The Sabercats will begin their tournament bid in today's 2 p.m. semifinal against #3 Trinity Bible College - one of two teams that held a winning record coming into the tournament.
Yesterday, the Lions held off a late Calvary University charge to win a draining tournament-opener by a score of 61-60. Today's game will show the Lions' capacity for grit, as they have to quickly gear up for another contest after a nervy start to the tournament.
Against NCCAA opponents this year, the Lions hold a 4-2 record while the Sabercats stand at 6-1.
Coming into today's game, the Lions average 65.8 points per game and average 39 percent shooting from the field. On the other side of the coin, the Sabercats average 60.2 points per game with an average mark of 37.2 field-goal shooting.
Maranatha and Trinity have met just one other time - it was in last year's regional championship, where the Sabercats upset the then-#1-seeded Lions to take home the regional title. Whether or not the Lions need extra motivation to win today's contest leaves little room for discussion.
Men's Basketball Preview
After an 89-65 thumping of Calvary University in yesterday's tournament opener, the Sabercats will face #3 Emmaus Bible College in a 4 p.m. semifinal.
Emmaus - a newcomer to the North Region this year - holds a 12-15 record after taking down Moody Bible Institute, 96-87, in yesterday's first-round game. Against Maranatha in the all-time series, the Eagles have won just 4 times in the 31-game stretch.
The Eagles have fared decently well in NCCAA play this year, as they hold a record of 9-6 coming into today. The Eagles will be looking to mark their debut appearance in the regional tournament with a berth in the championship game.
A shooting team by preference, the Eagles average roughly 36 points per game from downtown. Coming into today, EBC averages 80.6 points per game while shooting 43.2 percent from the field. Maranatha holds respective marks of 74.2 and 45.4 in those categories.
Maranatha has taken down the Eagles twice already this season, and they will look to complete the trifecta of wins while simultaneously punching their return ticket to the NCCAA Regional Championship Game.
Catch all the details of the game - including live video and stats - at mbusabercats.com/composite