DUNBAR, Wis. – In a rematch against the Northland Pioneers, Maranatha fended off another late Pioneer rally to win 65-61 on Thursday night in Dunbar, Wis.
Northland entered the game determined to put the February 7, 70-57 defeat behind them by opening the game on an 8-2 run.
Junior forward Joel Borchardt (Watertown, Wis.) hit two jumpers to ignite a 15-4 run in the next seven minutes swinging the lead in their favor, 17-12.
Maranatha ended the half up 27-26, but in the second half, had a difficult time distancing themselves from the pesky Pioneers.
Junior guard Matt Hunter’s (Pontiac, Ill.) efforts kept Maranatha ahead with 39 seconds on a putback of his own missed layup.
Hunter went 4-4 from the free throw line and the Crusaders as a whole shot 88% from the charity stripe in the second half, a statistic that became the deciding factor.
Junior forward Kyle Kutz (Cambridge, Wis.) sealed the victory, hitting two free throws, effectively putting the game out of reach with seven seconds left.
Three Crusaders scored in double-digits with Borchardt leading the way at 23 points, 12 rebounds, while Kutz finished 4-6 from the field and 6-7 from the line for 15 points and seven rebounds.
Hunter chipped in 12 points and six rebounds in 28 minutes of action.
The Crusaders play tonight at 6:00 p.m. against the #2 Grace Tigers. #1 Kuyper will play #4 Moody at 8:00 p.m.