DUBUQUE, Iowa -- It was close at the start, but the Sabercats left #6 Moody in the dust tonight to capture the North Region Championship for the second year in a row.
Jonathan Book had 19 points and 11 boards to fuel the win for Maranatha, who will now await their seed for the 2019 NCCAA DII National Tournament
- Result: Maranatha 72-58 Moody
- Venue: Pollard Field House, Emmaus Bible College
- Location: Dubuque, Iowa
- Attendance: 212
- Records: MBU (15-9), MBI (4-15)
Matt Gill knocked down a couple of free throws to put the Sabercats up 10-2 just four minutes into the game, and at that point, it looked like Moody was out of gas from their last two games.
But the Archers summoned the energy to hang with the Sabercats, establishing a three-point lead inside the 10-minute mark. Adam Millican and Zeke Steuerwald came off the bench to score five points each, and the duo provided a second wind for MBU, who ended up regaining the lead to go into halftime with a five-point edge. Jonathan Book kept the show going for Maranatha, bagging 11 points and controlling the offensive game plan for Maranatha.
The Archers hung around during the opening minutes of the second half. The game stayed pretty tight, as neither team was sharp offensively. But then a whipped pass from David Lerma set Steuerwald up for an easy layup, sending the Sabercats ahead by 12 and sending Steuerwald into double figures.
Moments later, Moody's Joshua Wedeven fouled out around the 7:00 mark, and that seemed to take the wind out of the Archers' sails, as Wedeven was leading the Archers with 21 points. Maranatha promptly extended the lead to 20 points to set up what looked like a stress-free finish.
From there, it was a matter of routine and managing the game, as the Sabercats managed the clock to take home the regional title.
MBU Starters: 3-Book, 15-Lerma, 22-Sonnenberg, 23-Wilkerson, 35-Gill // MBI Starters: 10-Clemmer, 11-Roser, 21-Stultz, 23-Jordan, 33-Wedeven
- Book: 19 pts, 11 reb
- Wilkerson: 16 pts
- Steuerwald: 11 pts
- Rebounds: MBU 44-30 Moody
- Last time: MBU won 70-65 at Moody
- Series: MBU leads the series, 47-15
- Moody's only two wins coming into today were in the North Region Tournament (only countable opponents included)
- Moody took the North Region Title in 2017
The Sabercats will await their seeding for the 2019 NCCAA DII National Championship, which will be announced tomorrow night. Follow at mbusabercats.com/composite.