CHICAGO -- In the 61st edition of the Maranatha-Moody series, the Sabercats came away from Chicago with a five-point win after trumping the Archers' comeback with a comeback of their own.
David Lerma led MBU with 23 points in the thrilling rivalry, putting on a free throw clinic with 13-15 shots from the line. It was free throws that won it in the end, as MBU's final seven points came from the charity stripe.
- Result: Maranatha 70-65 Moody
- Venue: Solheim Center
- Location: Chicago
- Attendance: 282
- Records: MBU (8-8), MBI (1-11)
Things started off well when Rob Sonnenberg hit a three-pointer on the very first possession, and things went back and forth all throughout the first quarter. The Archers had only posted one win all season, but they were playing with the intensity and hunger that they typically bring.
The lead changed hands like a hot potato, and the Sabercats went into the locker room with a four-point lead and a good deal of gratitude for the halftime horn. Lerma chalked up nine points, seven of which came from the line, and Jonathan Book and Zeke Steuerwald registered seven and six points, respectively, in the opening 20 minutes.
Maranatha seemed to have the Archers nailed in the second half, and when CJ Jones connected from downtown, the Sabercats had room to breathe - they were leading by 13 points with 6:30 on the clock.
It was then that the Archers gave the Sabercats a scare, as the hosts were bolstered by the support of a loud home crowd. MBI regained the lead with 2:00 on the clock, and it was their first lead in the second half. The game would ultimately be won from the line, as Lerma and Matt Gill stayed calm from 12 feet to seal the deal for MBU. In the final two minutes, the Sabercats' only shots came from the free throw line, and they didn't miss a single one.
MBU Starters: 3-Book, 15-Lerma, 22-Sonnenberg, 23-Wilkerson, 35-Gill // MBI Starters: 3-Haidle, 10-Clemmer, 11-Roser, 21-Stultz, 33-Wedeven
"Any time you can go down and get a win at Moody, it's a great day," said Coach Keith Salscheider. "They have an incredibly hard place to play, their fans are really loud - just everything about that place makes it tough to play at. So we were fortunate to come up with the win. Our seniors stepped up and played pretty well."
- Lerma: 23 total points, 13 points from the line
- Gill: 12 points, 6 rebounds
- Book - 9 points, 10 rebounds
- MBU: out-rebounded the Archers 37-26
- Last year: MBU won 77-59
- Series: MBU leads the series, 46-15
- Moody competes with the Sabercats for the NCCAA North Region
- Moody took the North Region Title in 2017
- The Archers will travel to Watertown on February 12 for a rematch
The Sabercats will host Luther College on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. Follow at mbusabercats.com/composite.