Comeback City

Photo credit: Ben Yenger
Photo credit: Ben Yenger

LEAD

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- Down 18 points with seven minutes left in the game, the Sabercats battled back to a gritty 84-81 overtime win against NCCAA DI Lincoln Christian tonight.

Jed Mayhak (20 points) and Aaron Sanders (23 points) hit career-high marks in the overtime win, and the Sabercats are gaining momentum as the regular season winds down.

OVERVIEW

  • Result: Maranatha 84-81 Lincoln Christian (OT)
  • Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
  • Location: Watertown, Wis.
  • Attendance: 218
  • Records: MBU (7-5), LCU (5-7)

STORY

Lincoln was the better team early on, and a back-and-forth start resulted in a 34-29 lead for the visitors. When the Red Lions heated up from downtown in the early stages of the second half, it looked like the night was theirs. LCU built a 18-point lead with seven minutes left in the game, but a three-pointer from Mayhak cut the lead to 10 and marked his career-high in the process.

Mayhak's three-pointer triggered the start of the comeback, as the Sabercats came back in the closing minutes through Ethan Cooper and Aaron Sanders.

Emphasis on "Aaron Sanders."

The guard shouldered the game in the closing minutes, hitting 10 points in a two-minute stretch to send the game into overtime. The crowd was completely behind the team, and they could sense the win coming. It seemed to be just a matter of time, and a three from Mayhak, a jumper from Cooper, and four free throws from Sanders sealed the game and the hard-earned win for Maranatha. Sanders hit 15 of 18 shots from the charity stripe on the night, as he matched his career-high of 23 points to lift the team to a holistic overtime win with a rowdy crowd backing them the whole way.

--

Maranatha Starters: 2- T. Ball, 3- Mayhak, 4- Steuerwald, 5- Sanders, 32- Herbster // Lincoln Christian Starters: 3- Williams, 13- Baker, 23- Robertson, 41- Field, 43- Cook

SOUND BITE

"Just want to give a shout out to Coach Ingmire - he's got a really good team and they hit some good shots on us," said Coach Joel Borchardt. "It was tough to play good basketball, but our guys turned it around. It was exciting to watch them really dig in, play smart, and play hard for each other. It was exciting to see us go down big but then force overtime. Different guys stepped up and played the way they needed to to win the ballgame. Excited to see where we can go from here and excited to see us playing our best basketball by the end of the season."

STATS

  • Sanders: 23 PTS (ties career-high), 6 REB, 5 STL
  • Sanders: 15-18 FT 
  • Mayhak: 20 PTS (career-high), 4 REB
  • Cooper: 11 PTS (career-high), 4 REB
  • MBU: 18 points behind with 7:00 left in the game
  • Last time: The Sabercats won 79-77 last season
  • Series: Maranatha now leads the series 27-15

OPPONENTS

  • Lincoln Christian competes in the NAIA as an independent institution
  • Lincoln Christian just beat NCAA DII Oakland City on February 4
  • Lincoln Christian competes in the NCCAA DI and used to compete in the Sabercats' NCCAA DII region

NEXT

The Sabercats will stay at home for Parents' Day on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. against Cardinal Stritch. That will be the final home game of the season. Find details at mbusabercats.com/schedule.

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