CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — The Manhattan Christian College women’s basketball team lost in the NCCAA Division-II National Championship to Maranatha Baptist, 56-53, on Monday night.
Maranatha jumped out to an early 17-11 lead, but the Crusaders chipped away at the lead and trailed just 31-26 at halftime.
The Crusaders tied the game early in the second half, in a back-and-forth game that saw seven ties and nine lead changes.
Late in the game, Manhattan was unable to hit free throws and Maranatha came away with the three-point win. Manhattan grabbed 58 percent of the rebounds and held Maranatha to 30 percent shooting from the field. MCC shot 43 percent from the field.
MCC’s second-place finish ties the highest any women’s basketball team has finished in school history. The Crusaders finished the season with a 27-5 record.
The Crusaders’ Ashley Valentine was named to the All-Tournament team.
MCC defeated Kentucky Christian 64-44 in the national semifinal, a team that has won the last six national championships. The Crusaders controlled the game from the start and never trailed.