WATERTOWN, Wis. – The Mount Mary University women's basketball team defeated host Maranatha Baptist University (0-1) to get MMU's first win of the season. The Blue Angels (1-4) held on late to get a 60-54 victory over their Association of Division III rival in the Sabercats home opener.
Freshman Erica Williams (Bloomington, Ill.) helped the Blue Angels get out to an early lead against their rival. Williams made the team's first basket, then added an assist, rebound and an additional field goal to give MMU an early 10-2 lead before the rookie took a respite on the bench just two minutes into the contest.
The Sabercats battled back in the remaining eight minutes of the first quarter going on a 12-5 run. However, the Blue Angels were able to then attack first in the second quarter to extend their early lead. MMU continued to clamp down on defense holding MBU scoreless for the first four minutes of the second quarter. That defense helped the Blue Angels take a 29-24 lead going into the locker-rooms at halftime.
While the Sabercats tried to clip away at the Blue Angels lead, the consistent trips to the free throw line from MMU continued to supply the separation needed. A big third quarter for MMU translated into a 50-34 lead for the Blue Angels as they went to the final frame.
"After the first three games we identified the third quarter as an area of emphasis," described Mount Mary Head Basketball Coach Marc Heidorf. "Today the ladies took that challenge to heart. That was the most focused quarter we have played all season."
In true rival fashion, the Sabercats did not give up. MBU attacked and cut what was an 18-point deficit down to just four with 1:25 remaining. A few empty possessions and missed free throws from MBU gave the Blue Angels the opportunity to cement their first win of 2017-18 with a pair of free throws. Fittingly, senior Becky Onan (Grafton, Wis.) knocked down the need free throws with :06 remaining on the clock to help ice her team's first win.
"Credit to Maranatha for battling to the end," added coach Heidorf. "We needed every point late when the tightened the screws on defense and made us work to the end."
Onan led the offense with 20 points going 8-of-11 from the free throw line and adding two assists. Onan also tied her personal collegiate record for blocks in a game with six against the Sabercats.
Rae Grubbs (So./Covington, Ind.) went 3-of-9 from 3-point territory on her way to scoring 15 points. Teammate Brooke Uebersetzig (So./Greenwood, Ind.) got the offense going with a team high six assists to go along with the guard's two steals and eight points.
After tonight's game, the Blue Angels will have another quick turnaround as they will host Grace Bible College (3-4) on Sat. Dec. 2. Tipoff is set for 2:00 pm at the Bloechl Center with live stats and video available online as well. Links for the game can be found at mtmaryathletics.com.