WATERTOWN, Wis. – The men’s basketball team gave Lakeland a test in the first half, but could not keep pace in the second period, losing 82-71 on Thursday evening against the #1 team in the North Division of the Northern Athletics Conference.
Sophomore guard Tanner Moses (Lodi, Wis.) gave Maranatha an early 7-6 lead, and sophomore forward Jackson Miller (Marinette, Wis.) hit two consecutive three’s, the latter giving Maranatha a 17-15 edge.
Moses increased the lead to 21-17 before Lakeland’s 17-3 run gave Maranatha its largest deficit of the first half and trailed 43-31 at the half.
The Crusaders shot nearly 51% from the field in the second half, but Lakeland was better, shooting 52% that saw their lead balloon to 19 points with 14 minutes left.
Maranatha charged back to within 67-58 with five minutes remaining on a 21-11 run, but the Muskies pulled out their NAC-leading 19th win of the season.
Miller led a productive effort from the bench with 12 points as the team had a 22-10 edge over Lakeland. Sophomore center Brett Cashner (Urbana, Ill.) led the team with an 18-point, 10-rebound performance.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys because Lakeland is an exceptional basketball team that quite frankly is loaded. We gave them a very good effort and we fought hard. Tanner, Jackson and Matt McGivern real played well for us tonight,” stated head coach Keith Salscheider.
Maranatha faces the South Division leader, Aurora University on Saturday at 4:15 p.m.