The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 15, 2014

Peterson's quadruple-double leads Maranatha

Make it back-to-back championships for Maranatha Baptist University.

The Crusaders, the No. 7-seed coming in, earned its second straight and third overall NCCAA Women’s Division II National Basketball Championship with a 77-69 victory over Arlington Baptist College Saturday night at Ozark Christian College.

Tournament MVP Laci Peterson, a 6-foot-1 senior center, recorded a quadruple-double with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 13 blocks and 10 assists. Her 10th assist with 2:01 left in the game gave the Crusaders a 10-point lead, 68-58.

Peterson recorded one triple-double this season, but never a quadruple double.

“The only number I cared about was 13, 10 players, two coaches and Jesus. It was all 13 of us working together that made this possible,” Peterson said. “I came close to a triple-double the other night when I was in double figures in points, rebounds and had nine assists, but I was little surprised they (Arlington) kept coming into the lane and challenging me.

“But that was my job, to defend the paint and rebound. The assists make me very proud because coach is always telling me I need to score more, but I enjoy passing the ball.”

Peterson scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half as the Crusaders erased a 15-point first half deficit top trail only 35-33 at halftime and build a lead as large as 15 with under a minute left in the game.

Maranatha, finishing its season with the national championship crown, posted a 14-14 record. Senior guard Erin Steuerwald scored 19 points. Sophomore forward Stacy Reinke added 18 points and 10 rebounds and freshman guard Courtney Dunn had 13 for the Crusaders.

Maranatha Baptist defeated Bible Baptist 67-52 in Oklahoma City for the 1999 national title. Last year in Circleville, Ohio, the Crusaders defeated Manhattan, Kan., Christian College 56-53.

Arlington Bible College (22-7) was led by all-tournament selections Jade Johnson, a sophomore forward, with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Morgan Hale added 19 points and freshman guard Diamond Martinez finished with 12.

The Patriots dropped their second national championship game in two weeks in Joplin after losing to Hillsdale Free Will Baptist last Saturday in the ACCA National Women’s Championship.

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