WATERTOWN, Wis. – The Crusaders pulled off a 56-53 win over the surging Muskies on Monday night, who entered the game on a six-game tear.
Sophomore center Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, Ill.) helped the Crusaders hold early leads of 8-4 and 17-12 before the Muskies evened up the score at 19-19 with 6:55 left in the first half.
A jumper by Lakeland’s Dana Henrichs gave the Muskies a 23-21 edge that turned into a 25-24 halftime lead.
Lakeland appeared poised to take the game at 7:46 and an eleven point lead before junior guard Hallie Nelson’s (Rockford, Ill.) three and Peterson’s free throw shots cut the deficit to 50-43.
Junior guard Kristin Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.) continued the late game surge with 4:28 left in the game by nailing a three pointer and a layup on the next possession to bring the Crusaders to within 50-48.
The tiebreaker came when Morrison nailed another three, giving the Crusaders the first lead in the second half, at 51-50.
Lakeland regained the lead only to watch Peterson tie the game yet again at 53 all and a 1:05 left.
On Maranatha’s last possession, Autumn Peotter (Waupaca, Wis.) provided the late-game heroics by nailing a three pointer with 13 seconds left and handing the Muskies a loss.
Peterson filled the stat sheet by going 7-16 from the field for 18 points and six rebounds. She also had seven blocks after recording nine in her previous game against Aurora.
Peotter provided an unusual spark on the defensive end by hauling in 15 rebounds while tallying 10 points and four steals, while Morrison shot 7-13 for 16 points.
The Crusaders hope to extend their two-game winning streak Thursday, January 16 at Concordia Wisconsin at 7:00 p.m.