Stars Erase First-Half Deficit, Pull Away Late

MBU-vs-Aurora31NB-Brady-1Box Score

RIVER FOREST, IL – Maranatha came into the game on Saturday, hungry for their fourth win after a tough 56-50 overtime loss to Silver Lake on Thursday, and pieced together a huge first half, behind the hot shooting of freshman guard Brady Moses (Lodi, WI). But in the second half, Maranatha could not stop the  methodical comeback of the Dominican Stars, who pulled away to win 80-65 on free throws.

Dominican opened the game, up 8-7 in the first three minutes, but Maranatha responded with a scintillating 14-4 run, with consecutive layups by junior guard Andrew McKinney (St. Charles, IA) and junior center Brett Cashner (Urbana, IL), and a 21-12 lead.

The points kept coming for Maranatha, particularly for Moses, who wound up with 21 first half points on a scorching 60% field goal shooting, but hitting a whopping six of seven three-pointers, and nailing three of his four shots at the line.

Moses’ free throw with 11:50 left in the game, gave Maranatha their largest lead, at 28-12, and just when Dominican inched their way to within nine, Moses hit another three to bump the lead back to 33-21.

Cashner pieced together a solid first half as well, using his presence in the paint to post eight points, and four rebounds, but with just a few minutes left in the first period, the Stars’ Taylor DeRoo hit a pair of free throws, cutting the deficit to five, and the home team found themselves down just six, 40-34, at the halftime break.

The Stars wasted little time cutting into the deficit in the second half, hitting layups in the first minute and a half, and finally taking the lead at 16:29 left to play.

Dominican’s resurgence was due to a 57% shooting performance, but the key to their win, was the free throw shooting, as Josh Mayberry went 10-12, and the team finished 15-18 (83%) from the line to ice the game.

Mayberry, and the Stars, put up double-digit leads through must of the second half, with Maranatha’s David Wenthold (Geneseo, IL) hitting consecutive three’s at one point, to trail just 67-60 at 4:37 remaining. Slowly, and shortly though, Dominican snuffed out the Maranatha comeback, missing just two free throws the rest of the game, to pull away late.

Moses finished the game with 28 points, on 7-15 (47%) shooting, while Wenthold chipped in with nine points, on 3-6 shooting from beyond the arc.