Johnson's Lights-Out Night Gives Sabercats Winning Restart

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson

THE OVERVIEW

  • Result: Maranatha 64-58 North Central 
  • Venue: Clark-Danielson Gymnasium, North Central University
  • Attendance: 45
  • Record: Sabercats are now 2-5
  • Next Game for MBU: Saturday, Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. at Illinois Tech

THE LEAD

MINNEAPOLIS -- A career-high 25 points from a lights-out Karley Johnson gave the Sabercats a much-needed win to restart the season tonight.

Coming off of a 1-5 record last semester, the Sabercats held on for a 64-58 win over North Central University despite a late scare from the hosts. Kelsey Johnson recorded her third straight double-double and the Sabercats' 3 sisters combined for 55 of the 64 points.

THE STORY

The Sabercats had control of the game in the first half, as 4 of the starting 5 contributed to a 19-14 first-quarter advantage. Alexis Bueltel racked up 8 points in the opening 10 minutes.

The Sabercats matched their on-point offensive performance with a stingy defense in the second quarter. The unit limited the Rams to just 10 points in the second quarter alone. On the other end of the court, Karley Johnson did not miss a shot en route to 13 first-half points. Bueltel paced the Sabercats with 14 points of her own.

Going into halftime, the Sabercats led by a score of 34-24.

While the first half was comfortable for the Sabercats, the second half was not a repeat of the storyline. The Rams found new life coming out of the break and were the better team through the final 20 minutes. MBU edged NCU 14-11 in the third quarter, but in the final act, the hosts gave Maranatha a scare.

After Maranatha built a 14-point lead with 8:30 on the clock, the Rams charged back to tie the game at 54 with 3 and-a-half minutes remaining.

It would take more than the Rams had to offer, though. The Sabercats came for the win, and they got what they came for.

Ten points through the final 3 minutes - combined with a hard-working defense that forced missed shots - helped MBU return to winning ways to jump-start the second semester of competition.

When the horn sounded, Karley Johnson had wrapped up her career night, the Sabercats had finished one of their best offensive efforts of the season, and MBU had a winning restart to the 2017-18 campaign.

THE NUMBERS

Karley Johnson was lights out. The sophomore knocked down 10 of her 14 shots (71.4 percent) on the night and was a perfect 4-4 from the line.

The Sabercats had their best shooting game of the season, as they went 48.1 percent from the floor.

Kelsey Johnson recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. That was her third consecutive double-double and her fourth of the season.

The 3 sisters (Johnson, Johnson, Bueltel) recorded 55 of the Sabercats' 64 points. Each reached double figures.

The all-time series between the teams is now tied at 7-7.

THE OUTLOOK

The Sabercats will be back in action Saturday for a 1 p.m. tipoff at Illinois Tech. Follow live at mbusabercats.com/composite.