WATERTOWN, Wis. -- In their third game this week, the Sabercats ran out of legs in a tough overtime loss to conclude the regular season.
Stephen Wilkerson put up 30 points and the Sabercats had two others in double-digits, but the Knights outlasted the Sabercats 98-88 in overtime.
- Result: Maranatha 88-98 Martin Luther (OT)
- Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
- Location: Watertown, Wis.
- Attendance: 449
- Record: MBU (10-12), MLC (6-19)
In front of a packed house, the two teams rode the energy from the crowd, and seven unanswered points from Aaron Sanders set the tone for MBU in the opening minutes.
The Knights responded by tying the game at 20 with under 10 minutes to go, and it was clear that this game would be a tight one from that point on. Maranatha was the better team as the half wore on, though, as Taylor Ball led the Sabercats to an eight-point halftime lead. Things were looking good at 43-35.
Things looked even better when Wilkerson hit a three-pointer to give the Sabercats a 20-point lead in the opening minutes of the second half. The Sabercats had forced the Knights into attempting difficult shots, and looked like the hosts were heading for the win.
But looks can be deceiving. The Knights fought back with an unexpected 18-2 run, forcing turnovers and missed shots from MBU. With 12 minutes still on the clock, the game had changed completely as just four points separated the teams.
From there, the Sabercats restored an eight-point lead with less than 10 minutes on the clock, but they missed key shots at key times, allowing Martin Luther to tie things up again in the closing minutes. Overtime was next.
Five minutes of overtime might as well have been five hours, as the three-game week seemed to finally catch up with the Sabercats. The Knights were precise with their looks, as they went 80 percent from the floor and put up eight points from the free-throw line to seal the deal. After a long and rowdy game on the MBU campus, the Knights had the last laugh, and the Sabercats had a sour taste to their well-earned rest.
MBU Starters: 2- Ball, 3- Mayhak, 4- Steuerwald 5- Sanders, 23- Wilkerson
- Wilkerson: 30 PTS, 14 REB
- Sanders: 23 PTS, 5 AST
- Ball: 17 PTS, 7 REB
- Last time: The Sabercats lost 72-80 at Martin Luther in December
- Series: Martin Luther now leads the all-time series 7-5
- Martin Luther competes in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (NCAA DIII)
- Martin Luther sits 9th/9 in the UMAC with a 2-14 conference record
The Sabercats are the #5 seed for the NCCAA North Region Tournament and will travel to Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, N.D. next weekend. Find details at mbusabercats.com/schedule.