AURORA, Ill. (SabreAthletics.Com) – The eighth seeded Marian University men's basketball team took on the top-seeded Aurora Spartans, today, in a quarterfinals matchup of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Tournament. Marian's defense was challenged by consistent shooting by the Spartans as the Sabres were knocked out of the tournament with a 76-62 setback to finish the season.
Accuracy by the Spartans (19-7) eliminated chances for the Sabres (11-15) to creep back into contention as they shot 49 percent as a team. The Spartans had three players score double digits, while Tyler Hall and Brandon Smith led the game in scoring with 21 and 20 points respectively.
Marian's, Alex Stecker, was efficient from beyond the arc as he knocked down 4-of-5 long balls en-route to a team-high 14 points. Montrell Hobbs and Carvell Oliver were also a factor in the Sabres' offensive attack as they each finished the day with 10 points each.
The Sabres got off to a quick start and were able to gain a 6-point lead just over four minutes into play. Continuous answers by the Spartans decreased the lead, but two free throws by Hobbs had the Sabres on top by one half-way through the half. The Spartans gained some momentum in the final ten minutes, but the Sabres kept it close to make it a two-point game going into halftime.
It was still two-point game just over five minutes into the half when the Spartans scored seven unanswered points to increase their lead to nine. The Spartans held onto the lead, eventually gaining one as high as 17 points, to finish off the Sabres.
The Sabres shot 35.7 percent as a team on 20-of-56 shooting, while going 38.9 percent from beyond the arc on 7-of-18 shooting. It was also a solid day from the free-throw line for the Sabres as they shot 83.3 percent, going 15-of-18.
Mike Keller brought down a team-high six rebounds on the day. He and his brother Mark are Marian's only two seniors. They finished the day with nine points combined.
The Kellers have played a large role in the Sabres' success over the last four years and their presence will greatly be missed. Many players are returning to the Sabres next season, however, and they will look to add some freshman talent in hopes of going even further next year.
MEQUON, Wis, (SabreAthletics.Com) -- The Marian University men's basketball team took on the CUW Falcons in a NACC match-up to finish the regular season. Marian's Alex Stecker evened the score at 60 on two made free throws with 22 second remaining, but CUW's Eric Kittle knocked down a jumper as time expired to defeat the Sabres 62-60.
The Sabres (11-14, 10-10 NACC) started the night strong, gaining a six-point lead just under seven minutes into the game. A 12-4 run by the Falcons (16-9, 14-6 NACC) erased the lead, but the Sabres were able to fight their way back and tie the game at 22 on a three-point bucket by Connor Morovits to end the half.
Montrell Hobbs regained the lead for the Sabres early in the second half, but the Falcons continuously had answers. The game was tied at 41 with just over eight minutes remaining, but the Sabres quickly found themselves fighting from behind after a three-pointer by Eric Kittel gave the Falcons a four-point lead with 6:47 to go. The Sabres were able to tie the game up twice in the final minutes but were unable to ever regain the lead.
The Sabres were effective from the field on the night, shooting 44.4 percent as a team. Mike Keller (12), Josh Creed (12), Hobbs (11) and Alex Stecker (10) each finished with double-digits.
Kittel had a game-high 20 points for the Falcons on 8-of-10 shooting. The Falcons shot 38.3 as a team and brought down 40 rebounds compared to the Sabres' 31.
Coming into the night the Sabres had a chance to clinch the sixth seed in the NACC Tournament with a win and an MSOE loss to Wisconsin Lutheran, or the seventh seed with a win and a win by MSOE. The Warriors fortunately beat the Raiders, but with the Sabres setback to CUW, Marian is now the eighth seed in the tournament as both MSOE (13-12, 10-10 NACC) and Wisconsin Lutheran (14-11, 10-10 NACC) have the tiebreaker over the Sabres.
It will be a tough battle for the Sabres in the NACC Tournament as each game will be on the road, starting with the first-seeded Aurora Spartans on Saturday, Feb. 21. The Sabres went 0-2 against the Spartans on the year, but both games were decided by three points or less. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
RIVER FOREST, Ill. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team snapped back to their winning ways in a road match-up against Concordia Chicago. The Sabres gained a lead halfway through the first period and never let go as they came away with a convincing 73-67 win over the Cougars.
Four starters scored double-digits for the Sabres (11-13, 10-9 NACC) as they shot 50 percent as a team on the day. Alex Stecker went 5-of-9 from the floor, including 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc to earn a game-high 19 points in 30 minutes of action.
The Sabres came out strong out of the gate to grab an early 10-6 lead. The Cougars (6-18, 4-15 NACC) were able to go on a 6-point run to gain their first lead of the game, but a layup by Brandon McCullum in the eighth minute regained a lead for the Sabres that they never let go of.
A first-half performance of 56 percent shooting for the Sabres gave them a 37-27 lead going into half time. Josh Creed led the Sabres with 11 points in the half on 3-of-4 shooting including four free throws made.
The Sabres' lead grew as high as 18 points in the second half, capped off by three free throws made by Alex Stecker just over five minutes into the second half.
The Cougars were able to cut the Sabres lead to two points on a made layup by, senior, Kylan Anderson, with just over three minutes remaining.
Stecker answered the Cougars with a three-point bucket to regain control for the Sabres. They outscored the Cougars 13-to-9 in the final three minutes to seal the six-point win.
Montrell Hobbs brought down a game-high 10 rebounds for the Sabres, while finishing with 12 points. Josh Creed showed his defensive skills on the night as he had a game-high five steals, while also finishing with 15 points.
The Sabres currently have the seventh seed in the NACC Tournament, but have a chance to jump past MSOE to the sixth seed with a win in their final regular season match-up at Concordia Wisconsin on, Wednesday, Feb. 18. Tipoff is set for 7 pm.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – It came down to the wire once again for the Marian University men's basketball team as they hosted the Lakeland Muskies, tonight, February 10, in an important NACC match-up. The Sabres were down by one with four seconds remaining when Josh Creed's desperation three fell off the mark, leading to a 69-68 setback to the Muskies.
The Sabres were down by as many as thirteen points in the second half after the Muskies went on an early 13 point run. A 15-to-2 response by the Sabres evened the score with six minutes remaining in the game. The game stayed tight in the final minutes, and with 20 seconds left and the Sabres trailing by one, Montrell Hobbs and Drew Binversie double teamed the Muskies inbound pass to steal the ball and call a timeout.
Eight seconds into the Sabres possession, the Muskies ruled out a chance of running down the clock when they fouled Drew Binversie to bring the Sabres to the line for two. Binversie was able to give the Sabres their first lead in over 17 minutes by making both free throws, but there was still enough time for a last Muskie possession. A foul call on the Sabres with seconds left on the clock sent Lakeland's Zach Van Egen to the line where he ultimately won the game for the Muskies.
Free throw shooting was a struggle for the Sabres on the night. The Sabres went to the line 22 times but shot only 50% to help the Muskies stay in the game. Lakleand went 13-of-16 from the line on the night.
It was an evenly fought first half as the two teams traded the lead five times. The Sabres were down by one with a minute and a half remaining when Montrell Hobbs put the Sabres on top with a hard earned three-point play.
Brandon McCullum continued his success off the bench for the Sabres as he went 5-of-5 from the floor on his way to a team-high 14 points. Josh Creed finished with 12 points for the Sabres after being held scoreless in the first half.
Lakeland's, Joey Burris, led the Muskie offense on the night. Burris scored a game-high 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting in 38 minutes of action. Zach Van Engen also had success for the Muskies, finishing with 14 points.
Despite the setback, the Sabres did not lose any ground in their chase for the sixth seed in the NACC as MSOE also lost on the night. The Sabres have two more chances to gain better position, starting with a match-up at Concordia Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 14. Tip-off is set for 4:15 p.m.
AURORA, Ill. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team had a tough conference match-up against the Aurora Spartans, today, Feb. 7. The Sabres were unable to grasp a lead throughout the game as the Spartans hung on to beat the Sabres 80-78.
The Sabres (10-12, 9-8 NACC) shot over 44 percent as a team, but it was not enough to surpass the high-scoring Spartan offense. The Spartans (17-6, 14-4 NACC) shot over 56 percent and were aided by 30 free throw attempts on the day.
The Spartans were the first to get on the board, and despite allowing the Sabres to even the score multiple times, they never allowed the Sabres to take control. A well-balanced first half attack by the Spartans gave them a seven-point lead going into half time.
Offensively, the Sabres stepped it up in the second half as they outscored the Spartans 49-44, but it was not enough to overcome the first half deficit. Tyler Hall was a nightmare for the Sabres as he scored 18 points off the bench for the Spartans in the half.
Brandon McCullum was the Sabres most dangerous weapon in the second half as he had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting while stealing the ball twice. He finished the night with 17 points off the bench. Montrell Hobbs and Drew Binversie were also very effective on the night as they scored 17 and 16 points respectively.
Hall was the game's top scorer with 25 points while also having a game-high five steals. The Spartans also found success from Brandon Smith who had 15 points and Kyle Pilmer who had 12.
Currently the Sabres are in seventh place in the NACC, but they already have locked down a spot in the NACC tournament. The Sabres are tied with MSOE at 9-8 in the conference, but the Raiders have the tie breaker due to their upset on Senior Day. The Sabres look to overtake the Raiders for the sixth seed in their final three games of the season, starting with Lakeland on Tuesday, Feb.10. Tipoff is set for 7 pm.
FOND DU LAC, Wisconsin (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team suffered a heart-breaking loss on Senior Night as Collin Seubert of visiting MSOE drained a game-winning three-pointer as time expired to give the Raiders a 60-59 win inside Sadoff Gymnasium, this evening, Feb. 4.
Seubert's three came just moments after Marian's Josh Creed put the Sabres (10-11, 9-7 NACC) ahead 59-57 with a long jumper with just 5.3 seconds remaining. Following a timeout, MSOE (12-9, 9-7 NACC) went the length of the floor as Seubert took a handoff from mid-court and pulled up from in front of his own bench to knock down the game-clinching shot.
The Sabres know all too well the feeling running through their counterparts after having experienced it themselves just two weeks ago when Carvell Oliver hit a 30-foot shot at the buzzer to beat Edgewood at home.
Seubert's final shot gave him 13 points, coming second to Connor Patterson's game-high 22, including a 10-for-12 effort from the foul line, to go along with eight rebounds. The Raiders finished the game 14-for-18 at the free throw line, while the Sabres turned in one of their worst free throw shooting performances of the season, going 5-for-13.
Creed led three Sabres in double figures with 20 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals. Alex Stecker added 15 points, including a floating jumper in the lane to beat the first-half buzzer. Drew Binversie chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds as well.
With 4:03 left in the game, the Sabres trailed 55-49 following Patterson's fourth straight three-point play off a layup and a foul. Marian rose to the occasion and rallied off eight straight points to take a 57-55 lead after Binversie's layup with 46 seconds left.
Patterson tied the game with 29 seconds remaining before Creed gave the Sabres a two-point advantage, which Seubert trumped with his game-winner.
At the start of the second half, Binversie capped a 13-3 run with a tip-in off a Montrell Hobbs miss to put the Sabres in front 39-34 with 13:09 remaining. It forced the Raiders to take a timeout and they responded by regaining the lead 5 minutes later on a Seubert jumper to make it 44-43 with 8:06 to go.
Marian led by as many as nine points in the first half after a Creed three-pointer made it 15-6. Leading 22-14, foul trouble bit the Sabres as Creed and Mike Keller went to the bench and the Raiders answered with a 14-0 run to take a 28-22 advantage with 1:40 remaining. Stecker finally put an end to a drought that lasted for 5:40. MSOE took a 31-26 lead into halftime.
Tonight commemorated the impactful careers of seniors Mike and Mark Keller as they were honored on Senior Night prior to the game. Each started the game and logged 20 minutes of action, while registering seven points, four rebounds and three assists combined.
The Sabres, who now sit in a fifth-place tie with MSOE and Edgewood in the league standings, will have an opportunity to rebound when they head to Aurora this Saturday, Feb. 7. Tip-off is set for 4:15 p.m. in Illinois.
FOND DU LAC, Wisconsin (_http://www.sabreathletics.com/sports/mbkb/2014-15/releases/20150131s1d644) – Sophomore Brandon McCullum turned in his first career double-double to lead the Marian University men's basketball team to a 78-65 Alumni Day win, leading wire-to-wire past visiting Dominican University, this evening, Jan. 31.
McCullum finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and three steals to lead the Sabres (10-10, 9-6 NACC) past the Stars (2-18, 2-13 NACC). The Joliet, Illinois native nearly accomplished his milestone in the first half, pacing Marian with 10 points and nine rebounds en route to a slim 47-43 halftime lead. He tied for team-high honors as Mike Keller, Josh Creed and Montrell Hobbs each registered 13 points as well.
Marian held Dominican to just 28 percent from the field in the second half and used a 30-for-41 effort at the charity stripe for the game to dispose of the Stars. The Sabres maintain their stranglehold on the fourth spot in the league standings with just five regular season games left to play.
Marian used a 14-4 run to start the second half and take a 61-47 lead with 11:53 remaining. The score would dip into single digits just once the rest of the way en route to a comfortable double-digit win at home.
The Sabres jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led by as many as 12 points in the first half. Freshman Alex Manhardt put the Sabres up 27-15 with an old-fashioned three-point play with 9:04 left in the opening stanza. He finished the game with six points.
Marian shot 46.7 percent (14-for-30) and went 17-for-19 from the free throw line in the first 20 minutes to lead 47-43 at the break. For the game, the Sabres outrebounded the Stars 39-31 and garnered 18 second-chance points. They also used a 40-24 advantage in the paint and 27 bench points in the win.
Drew Binversie and Carvell Oliver poured in solid contributions, finishing with nine and eight points, respectively, in supporting a very balanced scoring attack.
Marian will be back in action this Tuesday, Feb. 4, to take on MSOE at home. The Sabres will recognize their seniors Mark and Mike Keller prior to the start of the game. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (SabreAthletics.com) – The stage was set for another buzzer-beating attempt for the Marian University men's basketball team after host Wisconsin Lutheran College took a 58-57 lead with 8.5 seconds remaining, but junior Drew Binversie's baseline jumper rimmed out and the Warriors escaped with a win by the narrowest of margins inside the Recreation Complex this evening, Jan. 27.
With the score tied at 56-56, Marian sophomore Brandon McCullum gathered a huge offensive rebound to extend the play and was fouled with less than 10 seconds remaining. He split two free throws to give the Sabres (9-10, 8-6 NACC) a one-point advantage. On the missed free throw, WLC's Brett Lubbe was fouled trying to get the rebound and converted both free throw attempts, which proved to be the difference.
Binversie earned a good look from about 15 feet away with time winding down, but his shot rimmed out and the Warriors (10-10, 6-9 NACC) came away with the nail-biting win.
Marian was led by Josh Creed, who poured in 14 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the way. McCullum added a season-high 12 points, while Carvell Oliver and Montrell Hobbs chipped in eight and nine points, respectively.
Oliver, who was the hero in the team's buzzer-beater win over Edgewood six days ago, started the second half with a seven-point run of his own to cut into a 12-point deficit.
Marian led by as many as four points when Creed's layup made it 54-50 with 4:08 remaining in the second half. Lubbe's decisive free throw in the waning seconds provided the Warriors their first lead since 50-49 at the 5:06 mark
The Warriors went on a 12-2 run to take a 29-21 advantage into halftime. WLC shot just 32.4 percent (11-for-34) from the field, but garnered 14 more shot attempts thanks to 11 first-half offensive rebounds. The Sabres shot 45 percent (9-for-20) from the field, going 0-for-4 from three-point range and just 3-for-8 at the charity stripe.
Marian finished the game 45.5 percent (20-for-44) from the field, including 2-for-10 from three-point range. It held the Warriors to 33.3 percent (20-for-60), while going 4-for-15 from downtown.
WLC was led by Kyle Stelse, who scored a game-high 16 points on 6-for-13 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. Jake Jarnigo added 11 points.
The Sabres will be back in action this Saturday when they play host to Dominican University (2-17, 2-12 NACC) in an Alumni Day match-up inside Sadoff Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 4:15 p.m. following the conclusion of the women's game, which begins at 2.
FOND DU LAC, Wisconsin (SabreAthletics.com) – Marian University junior Carvell Oliver completed a stunning come-from-behind victory when his 30-foot buzzer-beater handed visiting Edgewood College a 61-58 defeat in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play this evening.
The Manitowoc native capitalized on an Edgewood turnover in the final 3 seconds, crossing half-court and watching it fly as it kissed off the glass in victorious fashion to give the Sabres (9-9, 8-5 NACC) a much-needed win over the Eagles (8-9, 7-5 NACC).
Marian trailed by as many as five points in the final minute when Edgewood's Joe Klocek drained a three from the top of the key to give his team a 58-53 advantage with 43 seconds left. Two Alex Stecker free throws made it a three-point game and, with under 15 seconds remaining, the Oostburg junior came through in the clutch with a play almost as important as Oliver's game-winner.
It started with a steal from behind by Josh Creed and culminated in Stecker's game-tying triple with 10.5 seconds left.
From there, the Eagles called timeout to set up what they thought would be their game-winning opportunity, but it backfired when Dylan Rusch's behind-the-back pass skirted through to Oliver after Klocek slipped and the rest is history.
Creed led all scorers with 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting, while Oliver and Stecker each added 10 points apiece for the Sabres, who shot 48.9 percent (23-for-47) after a stellar 14-for-24 (58.4 percent) performance in the first half.
Marian led 33-26 at the break, but saw a 13-point advantage dwindle with Edgewood's 6-0 run to close the half. The Sabres would end up going nearly 13 minutes of game action with just one field goal made after going the final 4:51 of the first half without a point and just one field goal in the first 7-plus minutes of the second half.
The Eagles were led by Trevor Neale's 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting to go along with nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks. He was the only Eagle in double figures, while Klocek finished one point away with nine.
Before Stecker and Oliver connected on game-changing three's in the final 10.5 seconds, the Sabres had been 0-for-6 from downtown in the second half and just 2-for-10 for the game overall.
The win leap-frogged the Sabres over the Eagles and into a fourth-place tie with Lakeland in the league standings.
Marian enters its bye week before returning to action Saturday, Jan. 31, against Dominican, which will be recognized as Alumni Day inside Sadoff Gymnasium.