NEW ULM, Minn. -- After a slow first half, the Sabercats saw their semester end on a low note this afternoon in Minnesota.
MBU took a 72-80 loss to Martin Luther College despite a triple-double from Aaron Sanders and a noteworthy team effort in the second half.
- Result: Maranatha 72-80 Martin Luther
- Venue: Luther Students Center, Martin Luther College
- Location: New Ulm, Minn.
- Attendance: 314
- Records: MBU (2-5), MLC (2-5)
For the most part, the first half was a two-possession game, with Martin Luther holding a slight edge. The Sabercats had to combat nine turnovers in the first half, but a jumper from Stephen Wilkerson made it a one-point contest with five minutes left in the opening half.
Throughout the opening 20 minutes, Sanders kept the Knights' defense on their toes with six assists, but the efforts of Wilkerson and Sanders in the first half were ultimately offset by a late run from MLC, who extended their lead out to 11 points in the last five minutes of the half.
Down 43-32 at the break, the Sabercats needed a turnaround. And thanks to five early points from Taylor Ball in the second half, they made it a four-point game as MLC struggled to hit shots at the other end. Ball and Sanders kept the Sabercats within striking distance in the opening minutes of the second half, but the Knights persisted and restored the lead to 10 points.
As it turned out, the Sabercats would stay behind for the remainder of the game, as this contest was all about the Knights. But it wasn't easy for the hosts, as the Sabercats made it a one- or two-possession game in the closing minutes. As the game wound down, the Knights executed their game plan, finishing the chances they created to close out the eight-point win.
MBU Starters: 3- Mayhak, 4- Steuerwald 5- Sanders, 15- Davis, 23- Wilkerson
- Wilkerson: 18 PTS, 10 REB
- Ball: 13 PTS, 7 REB
- Sanders: 10 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST
- Mayhak: 10 PTS, 4 REB
- Last year: The Sabercats won 82-76 at home
- Series: Martin Luther now leads the all-time series 6-5
- Martin Luther competes in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference
- Martin Luther began UMAC play on December 4 and is 0-3 in conference
- This year, Martin Luther has posted wins over Oak Hills Christian and Maranatha
The Sabercats will resume games on January 7 at Emmaus Bible College. Stay updated at mbusabercats.com/schedule.