Vikings pull out tight victory over Maranatha Baptist

Lawrence's Olivia Hoesley hit a three-pointer with 1:05 left to put the Vikings ahead to stay against Maranatha Baptist.
Lawrence's Olivia Hoesley hit a three-pointer with 1:05 left to put the Vikings ahead to stay against Maranatha Baptist.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The Lawrence University women's basketball team hit a pair of critical three-pointers in the final two minutes Monday and came up with a key steal to pull out a 49-45 nonconference victory over Maranatha Baptist University at Alexander Gymnasium.

Kenya Earl scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds to pace Lawrence (2-4). Olivia Hoesley added nine points and seven rebounds, and Erin Hill added eight points and five assists for the Vikings.

Alexis Bueltel led Maranatha Baptist (1-2) with 17 points, and Kelsey Johnson added nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Lawrence built a six-point lead in the third quarter after Natalie Kramer's three-point play put the Vikings up 29-23. Maranatha responded by scoring the game's next eight points, highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers from Johnson and Katie Bender, to lead 32-29 before settling for a 34-32 lead after three.

The teams then traded the lead in the fourth quarter before Lawrence pulled out to a 40-38 advantage on Hoesley's three-pointer with 6:13 remaining. The Sabercats battled back by scoring the next five points, capped by Bender's layup, to grab a 43-40 edge with 2:51 left.

Lawrence's Aubrey Scott then made her only basket of the game, draining a three-pointer with 1:36 remaining, to tie the game at 43-43. After Bueltel's layup gave Maranatha a 45-43 lead, Hoesley hit another three-pointer with 1:05 left to give Lawrence a 46-45 advantage.

After a Bueltel miss, Hoesley grabbed the rebound with 39 seconds left, and Maranatha was forced to foul. The Sabercats had fouls to give and finally put Nicole Cummins on the line with eight seconds left. Cummins made one free throw to put Lawrence up 47-45.

After a timeout, the Sabercats went to Bueltel, who had the ball stolen in the corner by Earl. Hill grabbed the ball and was fouled with three seconds left. She drained both free throws to seal the victory.

In a low-scoring first half, Lawrence limited the Sabercats to four points in the second quarter. The Vikings grabbed their biggest lead of the first half after Liz Jonjak scored four consecutive points to put the Vikings up 22-17. After a jumper by Bueltel, Elena Gonzales' layup with 33 seconds left gave Lawrence a 24-19 lead at the half.