MINNEAPOLIS -- In a game full of momentum swings, the Sabercats held on for a gritty one-point win in the Twin Cities.
Once again, Kelsey Johnson led from the front, racking up 19 points on the night to fuel the Sabercats' fifth straight win.
- Result: Maranatha 64-63 North Central
- Venue: Clark-Danielson Gymnasium, North Central University
- Location: Minneapolis
- Attendance: 69
- Records: MBU (6-1), EBC (5-8)
If the game was ultimately decided by a single point, it was no surprise that the Sabercats and the Rams were deadlocked at the halftime break. After trailing the first quarter 12-15, the Sabercats came back with a 20-17 advantage in the second to enter the locker room with a 32-32 tie.
The second half was when the momentum swung most notably. It was advantage: Maranatha after the third quarter, as the Sabercats breezed through the third quarter with 19 points while holding North Central to just nine. Johnson hoisted up eight points in the third while the Sabercats held North Central to just 3-13 shooting. With just 10 minutes to play, the Sabercats had a 10-point lead.
North Central's determination was pernicious, as the Sabercats' 10-point lead was slowly and steadily reduced to one point for the final two minutes.
With every shot's importance increased, Krysten Lawver connected a huge jumper with just 43 seconds left to give the Sabercats a three-point lead, and a free throw from Kiersten Johnson answered an NCU free throw to restore that three-point lead with 16 seconds left.
NCU would go on to hit two shots from the line and have a chance to win the game, but the Rams' desperation attempt was off the mark, putting the final touch on the Sabercats' hard-earned win.
MBU Starters: 3- C. Morrison, 12- Johnson, 13- Johnson, 23- Johnson, 30- Lawver
- Kelsey: 19 PTS, 8 REB, 3 STL
- Katelyn: 12 PTS
- Callie: 9 PTS, 11 REB, 6 AST
- Last year: The Rams won 69-62 in Watertown
- Series: Maranatha now leads the all-time series 8-7
- North Central formerly competed with the Sabercats for the NCCAA North Region
- North Central now competes in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (NCAA DIII)
- North Central holds a 2-2 UMAC record so far this season
The Sabercats will travel to Silver Lake College for a 5:00 p.m. tipoff next Tuesday. Follow at mbusabercats.com/schedule.