What Might Have Been

Photo credit: Ben Yenger
Photo credit: Ben Yenger

LEAD

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- Down 12 points with less than two minutes left, Maranatha tied the game but left with a 75-73 defeat to Cardinal Stritch University in the final home game of the season.

Taylor Ball put up 26 points and Stephen Wilkerson marked his return to play with a double-double, but even the electric energy created in the Maranatha gym couldn't make the comeback happen.

OVERVIEW

  • Result: Maranatha 73-75 Stritch
  • Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
  • Location: Watertown, Wis.
  • Attendance: 222
  • Records: MBU (7-6), CSU (1-14)

STORY

Stritch was the better team in the first half, shooting 50 percent or better from the floor and downtown. Ball put up 19 points on his own but 11 Maranatha turnovers helped give Stritch a 48-33 halftime lead.

Maranatha sharpened up their possession but still had shooting trouble in the second half. Stritch stayed ahead by 10-12 into the final two minutes, but the same resolve that fueled the Maranatha comeback against Lincoln Christian came back into full view.

Caleb Moultrie jumper with :34 on the clock made it a six-point game, and Moultrie turned right around for a steal and an assist on the ensuing inbounds pass. A three from Wilkerson made it a one-point game with :29 left, and when Aaron Sanders stepped up to the line to tie the game, the walls of the Maranatha gym were shaking with the energy from the fans.

It was happening again.

But lightning didn't strike twice. Stritch's Orri Hilmarsson connected a jumper at the other end of the court, and Moultrie's winning shot at the horn clattered off the back iron. Despite the loss, the team once again showed that they had fight, resilience, and an unquestioned will to win.

--

Seniors Taylor Ball, Brenden Caldwell, Zeke Steuerwaldand Stephen Wilkerson all played their final home game for Maranatha.

--

Maranatha Starters: 2- T. Ball, 3- Mayhak, 4- Steuerwald, 5- Sanders, 23- Wilkerson // Stritch Starters: 10- Winters, 23- Popovic, 30- Hilmarsson, 33- Glisic, 34- Dillon

STATS

  • Ball: 26 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL
  • Wilkerson: 17 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST
  • Wilkerson: First game since January 18 
  • Moultrie: 9 PTS, 1 REB, 2 STL
  • MBU: 12 points behind with 2:00 left in the game
  • Last time: The Sabercats won 64-62 earlier this season
  • Series: Stritch now leads the series 36-19

OPPONENTS

  • Stritch competes in the Chicagoland College Athletic Conference of the NAIA DI
  • Stritch won the NAIA DII National Championship in 2013
  • Stritch finished last year with an 11-19 record

NEXT

The Sabercats will travel to Palos Heights, Illinois Friday for a 5:00 p.m. tip at Trinity Christian. Find details at mbusabercats.com/schedule.

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