FOND DU LAC, Wis. – Maranatha overcame a first-half, that saw both teams shoot no greater than 20%, to defeat the Sabres, 49-37 on Tuesday evening, while clinching home-court advantage for the quarterfinals of the NAC Tournament.
After tying twice in the first eight minutes, senior guard Autumn Peotter gave the Crusaders a 13-12 lead before a three by Marian broke a 15-15 scoreless drought of nearly three minutes for an 18-15 Sabre lead.
The Sabres carried a 19-17 lead at the half but relinquished it to a jumper by junior center Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, Ill.) for the fourth tie of the game while Peotter and senior guard Hallie Sheley increased the lead to 26-22 on three straight possessions.
Marian clawed its way back to as close as five points, but succumbed to a Marnatha’s 54% field goal shooting and 44% from beyond the arc.
Maranatha’s lead stayed in double-digits for the rest of the half, thanks to a 20-2 advantage on points in the paint.
Peotter and Peterson led the team with 17 and 13 points respectively. Peterson chipped in nine rebounds while Peotter had five steals.
With the win, Maranatha is seeded #3 in the tournament and will host the #6 seed (TBD) on Saturday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m.