GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Sabercats are headed to the NCCAA Final Four after a ruthless wire-to-wire win tonight over Bob Jones University.
The 75-49 win was the third-biggest offensive night for MBU this season, and they will now face #1 Arlington Baptist tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. EST in the national semifinal.
- Result: #4 Maranatha 75-49 #5 Bob Jones
- Venue: Davis Field House, Bob Jones University
- Location: Greenville, S.C.
- Attendance: 415
- Records: MBU (18-6), BJU (13-16)
The Sabercats made a good first impression to start the tournament, putting up a 24-point first quarter while shooting at a clip of 47 percent from the floor. Callie Morrison got things going with seven points, and MBU had an 11-point lead at the end of the first quarter to show for their efforts.
As the second quarter got started, the Sabercats showed why they were on a 12-game winning streak. When the offense took a step back with only 10 points in the second act, the defense stepped up. Maranatha limited the Bruins to 20 percent shooting - including an 0-5 showing from downtown - to take the 11-point lead with them into halftime.
Going into the break, Morrison was leading the way with 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists while Jacklyn Simpson had started her career-high-tying game with 10 points of her own.
Just as they've been doing all season long, the Sabercats came out flying in the third quarter. Maranatha put up another 24 points, and Simpson was leading the way with nine - five of which came from the line. Kelsey Johnson pitched in another eight, and when the Sabercats held a 58-37 lead going into the fourth quarter, it was clear that the final 10 minutes were going to be a victory lap for the North Region Champions.
Just for good measure, Maranatha extended the lead by five more points in the fourth, going 7-11 from the floor while limiting Bob Jones to just six points from open play.
It was a veritable clinic all around from the Blue and Gold, who hit their third-best mark (75 points) this season while holding their hosts to shooting just over 10 percent from three-point range.
MBU Starters: 3-Morrison, 12-Johnson, 13-Johnson, 23-Torres, 32-Simpson // BJU Starters: 5-Thomsen, 10-Leffew, 11-Ledford, 20-Bedsaul, 32-Edwards
- Simpson: Tied her career-high of 21 points
- Morrison: 18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists. Now has double-digit points in 17 consecutive games
- MBU: 5 straight games with 70-plus points
- MBU: Extends their program-record winning streak to 13 games
- MBU: ties season-best field-goal percentage of 45.0
- Last time: Maranatha beat Bob Jones 63-59 at the 2017 NCCAA National Tournament
- Series: Maranatha leads the series 2-0
- The Bruins compete in the NCCAA South Region and qualified for the tournament as the tournament host
- BJU held a 10-4 NCCAA record this season coming into this game
- Bob Jones lost a tight game to Pensacola Christian in the South Region Championship
The Sabercats will take on the four-time defending national champions and #1 seed, Arlington Baptist University, tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. EST. Follow at mbusabercats.com/composite.