- Result: Maranatha 70-69 Great Lakes (OT)
- Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
- Attendance: 386
- Record: Sabercats are now 11-12
- Next Game for MBU: Saturday, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. vs Moody Bible
WATERTOWN, Wis. -- It wasn't the prettiest, but it was a win for the Sabercats, who topped Great Lakes Christian Colege in an overtime nail-biter on Parents' Day.
MBU had to overcome a season-high 41 turnovers to take home the win, which came when Micah Shepard knocked down a fadeaway jumper with 3 seconds left. Bryce Cashner logged his first career double-double in the win.
Maranatha got away with turnovers right from the get-go. Despite coughing the ball up, the Sabercats forced missed shots from their opponents, running out to an 11-4 lead around the 13-minute mark.
Cashner was sharp in the opening half, as the big man went 4-4 from the field. Cashner's mark helped the Sabercats to a 59.1 field-goal percentage, which they needed in the midst of 19 giveaways in the first half alone.
Another noteworthy contributor in the first half was David Lerma, who connected 3 of 4 shots from downtown to lock in 9 points. The junior led the scoring category for MBU, as all 5 starters contributed points in the first half. Matt Gill came on as a sub and added 5 points of his own.
At halftime, MBU had stolen a 33-18 lead.
Held at bay by a hardworking Sabercats' defense in the first half, the Lakes channeled their frustration, as their unit came storming back in the second half. MBU continued to turn the ball over, and the visitors shot 50 percent from the floor and went an impressive 11-19 from downtown. Riding their newfound momentum, the Lakes tied the game at 51 with 8:44 on the clock and then grabbed their first lead of the game with 6 minutes left.
To answer, the Sabercats dug out a 7-0 run thanks to a layup from Cashner and a clutch 3 from Stephen Wilkerson. Unfortunately for Maranatha, the 6-point lead evaporated in the final minute under the heat of 2 Lakes jumpers from downtown.
After a wild finish to regulation, overtime was next.
Just like they did earlier in the season against North Central, the Sabercats came through when it mattered most. Inside of the final minute, Justin Blake executed a well-rehearsed spin move and laid it in to give MBU the 68-67 lead. When GLCC's Tyree Keyes swung the lead with two free throws, Shepard grabbed center stage for the win. With his back to pressure, Shepard hit a smooth fadeaway jumper from 12 feet to put the Sabercats back on top. Great Lakes tried to tie the game at the horn, but their attempt hit the rim twice on the way out.
After 45 minutes of hard-nosed basketball, the Sabercats had overcome their poor play to pull off the upset.
Cashner, Lerma, Shepard, and Jonathan Book all finished in double figures.
Cashner finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead MBU in each category.
MBU shot 50 percent from the field. This was their ninth game at 50 percent or better.
The Lakes took 13 more shots than the Sabercats in the game.
The series now stands at 14-1 in MBU's favor.
THE SOUND BITE
"Great Lakes has a very athletic, talented team, and we were fortunate to win in a dog-fight," said Coach Keith Salscheider after the game. "Even if it was an ugly win, we're thankful for a win on parents' day. We honored the parents today, and as a coaching staff, we're thankful for the chance to mentor and coach their sons. From a basketball standpoint, we would like to take care of the ball better, we would like to understand the time and score a little better, and we've got one game and 2 weeks before the playoffs. But we're excited for Shep to get the game winner and we are excited to head into the playoffs at full strength."
The Sabercats will have their final regular-season game next Saturday when they take on Moody Bible Institute on the MBU campus at 3 p.m.
Follow live at mbusabercats.com/composite.