MILWAUKEE -- It took a lion's share of defensive work, but the Sabercats held off Cardinal Stritch 64-62 on the road, grabbing their first win over Stritch since 1999.
Stephen Wilkerson once again led Maranatha with 21 points and eight rebounds as the Sabercats snatched the away win, their first win of 2021, and an offsetting result from last year's 102-57 loss to the Wolves.
- Result: Maranatha 64-62 Cardinal Stritch
- Venue: Cardinal Stritch Fieldhouse, Cardinal Stritch University
- Location: Milwaukee
- Attendance: --
- Records: MBU (4-2), CSU (0-8)
Stritch looked promising in the opening few minutes, as they shot their way to a five-point lead six minutes into the game. But that was the last they saw of the lead in the first half, as the Sabercats responded with an 18-7 run to help take the lead into halftime. Wilkerson led Maranatha with nine points and Taylor Ball went a perfect 6-6 from the line to put up eight points. Caleb Moultrie came off the bench to post eight points in the first half alone, shooting 2-4 from distance and registering two rebounds and an assist for good measure.
The Sabercats held a 34-29 lead going into halftime but Stritch was making it difficult - Maranatha shot 31 percent from the floor and 28 percent from downtown in the first half.
Taking a break helped the Sabercats, who extended their lead to 10 points in the early minutes of the second half - their largest lead of the game. But Stritch fought back to make it a nail-biter down the stretch. Chris Winters tied the game for CSU with four minutes to go, and Timothy Harper answered two missed shots from Maranatha with a layup to give the Wolves the lead with three minutes remaining.
Just when it mattered most, the Sabercats performed.
Aaron Sanders tied it up with a layup with a minute left, and Wilkerson stepped to the line to nail two free throws to seal the game. Down the stretch, it was a fight tooth and nail, but the Sabercats outlasted their hosts, sealed the win down the stretch, and secured their first win over Cardinal Stritch since 1999.
Maranatha Starters: 2- Ball, 3- Mayhak, 4- Steuerwald, 5- Sanders, 23- Wilkerson // CSU Starters: 5- Hill, 10- Winters, 23- Popovic, 30- Hilmarsson, 34- Dillon
- Wilkerson: 21 PTS, 8 REB, 2 STL
- Taylor Ball: 12 PTS, 9 REB
- Jed Mayhak: 11 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST
- MBU: 35.5 FG%
- Rebounding: MBU 49-37 CSU
- Last year: Stritch won 102-57 in an exhibition game
- Series: Stritch now leads the all-time series 35-19
- Stritch competes in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference of the NAIA
- Stritch finished last year with an 11-19 record
The Sabercats will hit the road to face Trinity International University on Monday at 6:00 p.m. Find details at mbusabercats.com/schedule.