WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The Sabercats had their work cut out for them tonight, as they had to defend their home floor against a revitalized Mount Mary University.
After an even first half, the Sabercats pulled away to win by 12 with the pressure on. Callie Morrison led the Blue and Gold with 20 points while Kelsey Johnson notched her eighth double-double of the season.
- Result: Maranatha 67-55 Mount Mary
- Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
- Location: Watertown, Wis.
- Attendance: 97
- Record: MBU (14-2), MMU (5-18)
It was clear that Mount Mary was a different team than they were in recent seasons, as they built a 9-2 lead out of the gate to put the Sabercats on the back foot. Maranatha countered with an 11-2 run of their own, however, and they took a 17-16 lead after a back-and-forth first quarter.
The second act followed suit, as the Blue Angels answered the 16-17 deficit by mirroring that score. The 33-33 tie at halftime was determined by a late three from Morrison and a big block by Johnson to deny a buzzer-beater from Mount Mary's Erica Williams.
going into the locker room, it was clear that the Sabercats had a fight on their hands.
The Sabercats have proven themselves to be a good third-quarter team, and tonight was no exception, as they gained the upper hand by eight points after a solid third quarter. The Sabercats shored up their defense, limiting the Blue Angels to just 25 percent shooting, and three-point shots from Karley Johnson and Trisha Wright helped build the lead.
That eight-point advantage would prove to be an obvious turning point, as the Sabercats extended that lead out to 12 points by the end of the game, but it wasn't without a scare from their guests. While the Sabercats struggled to connect their shots in the fourth quarter, the Blue Angels came back within two points, forcing the Sabercats to come up with a solution on the fly.
Up stepped the Johnsons.
The seniors took matters into their own hands when Kelsey played some staunch defense and Karley scored six unanswered points. Those six points fueled a decisive and perfectly timed 14-0 run, which ultimately decided a thrilling game on the MBU campus.
MBU Starters: 3- C. Morrison, 4- Wright, 12- Ka. Johnson, 13- Ke. Johnson, 30- Lawver
- Callie: 20 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST
- Callie: Has double-digit points in all but two games this season
- Kelsey: 19 PTS, 11 REB
- Kelsey: Eighth double-double this season
- Karley: 15 PTS, 8 REB
- Bench points: MBU 7-19 MMU
- Last time: The Sabercats topped Mount Mary 62-31 earlier this season
- Series: Maranatha now leads the all-time series 28-9
- Mount Mary competes in the NCAA DIII and is associated with the American Collegiate Athletic Association
- Mount Mary will have one more regular-season game before the ACAA Tournament on February 29
- Mount Mary finished last season with a record of 10-11
The Sabercats will travel to Wisconsin Lutheran College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Find details at mbusabercats.com/schedule.