- Result: Maranatha 65-67 Lincoln Christian
- Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
- Attendance: 53
- Record: Sabercats are now 3-7
- Next Game for MBU: Friday, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. EST at Grace Bible
WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The Sabercats fought to the end but couldn't pull out the win in a back-and-forth clash on the MBU campus tonight.
MBU fell 65-67 to the Lincoln Christian University Red Lions in a game where the lead changed hands 6 times. Kelsey Johnson led MBU with 18 points on the night.
Depending on the quarter, the game could have looked decidedly lopsided or staunchly competitive. There was no consistent trend to the game, as the familiar opponents traded blows and momentum throughout.
The Red Lions held the lead for the majority of the first quarter, but a jumper from Alexis Bueltel put the Sabercats on top for the first time in the game inside of the final minute. Lincoln answered with a free throw but a late jump shot from Kelsey Johnson put the Sabercats back on top entering the second quarter.
As has been their trend this season, the Sabercats let one quarter get away from them. That quarter was the second one, as LCU put up a 23-6 run through the 10-minute period. More than half of the visitors' tally came from downtown, as Kenzie Schlipf knocked down 14 points - 12 of which came from beyond the arc.
Thanks to Schlipf's second-quarter shooting exhibition, the Red Lions held a 15-point lead going into halftime.
Just as the second quarter belonged to the Red Lions, the third was all about the Sabercats. A big momentum swing came when Katie Bender and Johnson put up consecutive 3-pointers to give Maranatha their first lead since the first quarter.
MBU made more than half of the shots they looked at, as they went 10-20 from the floor and 5-7 from the line to put up 28 points in the quarter. Johnson kept her hot night going with 10 points in 10 minutes, and Bender put up 8 points herself.
The Sabercats had their best defensive showing of the night in the third, as their hard-working unit forced 12 LCU turnovers. MBU limited the Red Lions to just 10 points in the stretch.
After the big swing in the Sabercats' favor, they held a 5-point lead entering the final act.
The game went right down to the wire, as both teams were determined to grab the win. A pair of free throws from Claire Hansel extended MBU's lead to 4 points with less than 3 minutes left, but the Red Lions mounted a 7-0 run to take the 64-61 lead. From there, the visitors held on for the 2-point win despite late pressure from MBU.
Johnson finished the night with 18 points and 8 rebounds.
Bueltel played all 40 minutes and finished with 14 points.
Schlipf led all scorers with 26 points on the night.
LCU's Katie Dial logged 16 points and 16 boards.
Trisha Wright registered a season-high 9 points off the bench for MBU.
Despite the loss, the Sabercats still hold a 27-10 lead in the all-time series.
The Sabercats will travel to Michigan tomorrow for a 6 p.m. (EST) tip-off at Grace Bible. Follow live at mbusabercats.com/composite.