WATERTOWN, Wis. -- A 22-point, 14-rebound showing from Kelsey Johnson tonight sent the Sabercats into Christmas break on a high note.
With a 60-45 win over Alverno College, MBU moves to 2-3 on the season.
- Result: Maranatha 60-45 Alverno
- Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
- Location: Watertown, Wis.
- Attendance: 193
- Records: MBU (2-3), AC (2-4)
The Sabercats were a different team from two days ago, as they executed with precision in the opening minutes. Their calling card was sharp play down low, as they breezed out to a 10-0 lead with less than five minutes gone.
The Inferno regrouped from there, but MBU kept the foot on the gas to record 19 points in the opening act. Kelsey Johnson was responsible for 10 of them, as the junior led the efforts offensively. Situation: normal. At the end of the first quarter, the scoreboard showed a 19-8 Sabercats' advantage.
Callie Morrison began to come alive in the second quarter, as she registered eight of the Sabercats' 10 points in the 10-minute stretch. But the Inferno reversed the proceedings, as they outscored MBU 20-10 to cut the deficit to a single point entering halftime.
The halftime box score showed the teams virtually equal with rebounding and shooting - it really was the even matchup it was anticipated to be.
Six unanswered MBU points forced Alverno into a timeout to start the third quarter, and a contested three-pointer right in front of the fans from Rosa Torres gave the Sabercats a 10-point advantage and all the momentum. That 10-point lead would hold until the end of the third quarter, as the Sabercats' tough defending limited the damage from the Inferno. Leading the defensive efforts was Karley Johnson, who led MBU's season-best rebounding effort by hauling in 16 boards - 10 of which were defensive.
At the other end of the court, the Sabercats had plenty of chances to increase the lead, but they forced the issue with a measly 1-12 shooting effort. As the story unfolded, the Sabercats had to rely on that tough defense, finishing with the smallest tally from any opponent this season. As the game came to a close, the Sabercats removed any chance of a comeback by hitting 15 of 22 free throws through the final 10 minutes.
With tonight's game, Maisy Alldredge concludes her Sabercats' career, and she heard her name chanted by the home crowd one last time at the conclusion of the game.
MBU Starters: 3-Morrison, 12-Johnson, 13-Johnson, 23-Torres, 32-Alldredge // AC Starters: 5-Selear, 12-Hood, 21-Hawkins, 22-Mathies, 30-Patterson
- Kelsey: 5th consecutive game in double figures
- Karley: 16 rebounds is the highest mark from an individual this season
- Morrison: 14 points and a career-high 7 assists
- Torres: 10 points, 6 rebounds
- MBU: season-high 49 rebounds
- Last meeting: Maranatha lost at Alverno last year, 41-53
- Series: Alverno leads the series, 12-10
- Alverno competes in the NCAA DIII in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference
- The Inferno hold a 2-3 record, including a 1-2 record in conference play
- Half of the Inferno roster is comprised of seniors
The Sabercats will resume play January 8 at Grace Christian for a 4:00 p.m. (EST) tip. Follow at mbusabercats.com/composite.