First Win

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson


GALESBURG, Ill. -- In a close game from start to finish, the Sabercats came away from Knox College with a memorable win in more ways than one.

It all came together for MBU, as the Sabercats earned their first win of the season and Coach Joel Borchardt picked up his first career win as full-time head coach.


  • Result: Maranatha 72-67 Knox
  • Venue: Memorial Gymnasium, Knox College
  • Location: Galesburg, Ill.
  • Attendance: 200
  • Records: MBU (1-4), KC (2-2)


The lead changed hands 10 times in the opening 20 minutes, as MBU and KC fought it out in a rematch of last year's chippy, one-possession game. Fittingly, it was a two-point game at the halftime break, as Stephen Wilkerson drilled a three at the one-minute mark to give Maranatha a one-possession advantage going into the locker room.

The Sabercats shared the load in the first half and would follow that trend all night. In a well-balanced first-half performance, Taylor Ball (six points), Brenden Caldwell (six points), and Wilkerson (seven points) all shared the load as the Sabercats followed their usual routine of a solid first half.

But unlike the other games this season, the Sabercats continued the trend and even stepped it up in the second half. Maranatha scored a combined 43 points to add to their 29 first-half points, keeping Knox just out of reach when it mattered most.

The Sabercats got hot with their shooting, performing at a rate of 54 percent in the second half. Ball, Caldwell, Wilkerson, and Aaron Sanders all lept into double digits, and Sanders led everybody with a dozen points on 5-7 shooting.

Everything was clicking for Maranatha down the stretch, and Ball and Caldwell stepped up to knock down a combined five free throws in the final possessions of the game, as MBU sealed a hard-earned win to open the wins column for the 2019-20 season.


MBU Starters: 2- Ball, 3- Mayhak, 5- Sanders, 13- Caldwell, 23- Wilkerson



  • Ball: 15 PTS, 6 REB
  • Sanders: 14 PTS, 3 REB
  • Caldwell: 14 PTS
  • Wilkerson: 13 PTS, 8 REB
  • MBU: shot 54 percent from the floor and from downtown in the second half
  • Last year: The Prairie Fire won 71-68 at home last year
  • Series: Knox now leads the all-time series 2-1


  • Knox competes in the Midwest Conference (NCAA DIII)
  • Knox opened the season with back-to-back wins against Principia and Eureka
  • Knox's lone win in 2018-19 came against MBU 


The Sabercats will host Faith Baptist Bible College on December 7 for a 4:00 p.m. tipoff. Follow at

Close Calls
March 23, 2020 Close Calls
Wilkerson Awarded
March 6, 2020 Wilkerson Awarded
Fouled Out
February 28, 2020 Fouled Out
Moving On
February 27, 2020 Moving On
For Three
February 26, 2020 For Three
Long Knight
February 22, 2020 Long Knight
Washed Away
February 20, 2020 Washed Away
Sizing Up the Seedings
February 19, 2020 Sizing Up the Seedings
Counter Attack
February 18, 2020 Counter Attack
Charging Back
February 11, 2020 Charging Back
Working Overtime
February 8, 2020 Working Overtime
Positive Takeaways
February 7, 2020 Positive Takeaways
Two for the Show
January 30, 2020 Two for the Show
Thirty Nights
January 28, 2020 Thirty Nights
Outgunned and Out-Benched
January 25, 2020 Outgunned and Out-Benched
In the Zone
January 23, 2020 In the Zone
Locked Out in Lincoln
January 16, 2020 Locked Out in Lincoln
No Way Back
January 14, 2020 No Way Back
Century Marked
January 9, 2020 Century Marked
Century Mark
January 7, 2020 Century Mark
Day to Knight
December 14, 2019 Day to Knight
Two In A Row
December 7, 2019 Two In A Row
First Win
November 21, 2019 First Win
November 19, 2019 Starstruck
Déjà vu
November 16, 2019 Déjà vu
Nail-Biter in Rockford
November 14, 2019 Nail-Biter in Rockford
Up from Here
November 12, 2019 Up from Here
Looking Ahead
November 11, 2019 Looking Ahead
Reynolds Rewarded
August 30, 2019 Reynolds Rewarded