FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – Defense keyed a 20-point victory for the top-seeded Marian University men's basketball team as it held visiting No. 4 Aurora University to a season-low 51 points in a Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference tournament semifinal win to advance to the championship game Saturday against No. 7 Edgewood. The Sabres are just a win away from clinching an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III national tournament.
Marian (21-6) trailed just once following an Aurora (18-9) layup to open the game. The Sabres answered with an 11-0 run and never looked back, leading by 17 at halftime and keeping the advantage above double-digits the rest of the way. The packed Sabre crowd proved to be electric once again.
Five Sabres reached double figures, led by freshman Josh Creed's 14 points and 10 rebounds. Mike Keller added 12 points, while Cody Veleke and Alex Stecker chipped in 11 apiece, followed by Jeff Harris' 10. Marian shot over 47 percent on the night, but it was all about the defensive effort for the hosts.
The Sabres held the Spartans to just 37.7 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 43-26. Marian scored 13 second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds and outscored the Spartan bench 31-16.
Much like the first half of their quarterfinal win over Wisconsin Lutheran last time out, the Sabres were connecting from long distance, using the three-ball to build a first half lead the gave them the momentum to carry through. In the midst of their 11-0 run early in the first half, Veleke and Stecker combined to knock down two three's.
With 8:40 left in the first half, Sam Koslowski connected on his second in a row from distance to put the Sabres up 21-8. The senior finished with six, but added six rebounds and two assists. A pair of Creed free throws at the 2:21 mark gave Marian its largest lead at the time of 39-19 before taking a 40-23 advantage into the locker room.
In the second half, the Spartans upped the intensity on the defense end and forced the often sure-handed Sabres into a few of their 20 turnovers.
With 9:28 remaining Kyle Pilmer sprinted on a fast break and threw down a two-hand jam over Veleke, who committed the foul as well. Pilmer had a chance to cut the deficit to 10 points, but missed the free throw and the Sabres held a 53-42 lead.
Marian then put an end to the 6-0 Aurora run with a 5-0 run of its own. The lead would balloon to 23 points when Harris hit a step-back jumper, just inside the arc, to make it 67-44 with just 3:23 remaining to seal the deal.
The win marked Marian's first in a NACC semifinal in their second-ever appearance, losing to Lakeland in overtime by a point back in 2008. For Aurora, it was just their second semifinal loss in seven trips.
Edgewood (13-14) proves to be the "Cinderella Story" of this year's tournament as they upset No. 3-seeded Lakeland tonight following a first round win over No. 2 seed MSOE in the quarterfinals. Marian defeated Edgewood in both meetings earlier this year.
A trip to the NCAA Division III national tournament will be riding on the outcome of Saturday's championship game. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside Sadoff Gymnasium.
WAUKESHA, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference has announced its yearly awards for men's basketball and Marian University placed four players on the All-Conference teams, including first team selection Cody Veleke, while Head Coach Mark Boyle hauled in Coach of the Year honors, the league released, today, Feb. 25.
The senior Veleke collects First Team All-NACC honors for the second straight season after averaging 13 points, 4.5 rebounds and ranked third in the league with 1.6 blocks per game for a balanced Sabre squad. Fellow seniors Sam Koslowski and Jeff Harris claimed second team accolades, while Josh Creed was named to the All-Freshman team in his first season with the program.
Boyle receives Coach of the Year honors for the fifth time in his career after leading the Sabres to the regular season conference title following a 17-3 league record.
Veleke enjoys his third year earning All-NACC honors after earning first team honors last season and All-NACC honorable mention as a sophomore. The Oakfield native eclipsed 1,000 career points in a 24-point, 11-rebound effort in an overtime victory over Wisconsin Lutheran back on Dec. 5. He recently turned in one of his most impressive performances as a Sabres in going 10-for-10 from the field for 23 points, scoring 21 of those in the first half alone in a quarterfinal rout of WLC last Saturday.
Koslowski has led the Sabres in scoring all year long and also eclipsed the 1,000-career-point mark this season back on Feb. 15. He registered 18 double-digit scoring performances, including a career-best 32-point effort after going 10-for-13 from the field, including 8-for-10 from three-point range in a win over Benedictine Jan. 4.
Harris, who reached 1,000 career points on Dec. 14, registered 13 double-digit scoring performances, including back-to-back 20-plus point games in January. He fell just shy of a career-high when he tallied 29 points on 10-for-13 shooting, while connecting on five three's to lead the Sabres to a come-from-behind win at Benedictine Jan. 18. The Chicago native was an All-NACC honorable mention pick in 2011, following All-Freshman team honors in 2010.
Austin Stueck of MSOE was named Player of the Year, while his teammate John Cording earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Benedictine's Michael Blaszczyk was selected Freshman of the Year.
Complete list found here.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – It was a shooting display for the ages as the top-seeded Marian University men's basketball team went 21-for-31 from the field en route to a 30-point halftime lead and an 83-63 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Quarterfinal win over visiting Wisconsin Lutheran College, this evening, Feb. 22.
The Sabres (20-6) eclipsed the 20-win mark for just the fourth time in program history and first in the 26-year tenure of Head Coach Mark Boyle. They did it with a first-half shooting display that saw the Sabres go 21-for-31 (67.7 percent), including 8-for-14 from downtown, while sprinting into halftime on a 22-2 run.
Senior Cody Veleke led all scorers with 23 points, 21 coming in the first half alone. He went a perfect 10-for-10 from the field and 2-of-2 from the foul line, adding seven rebounds, a block and four steals in a dominating effort. Fellow seniors Jeff Harris and Sam Koslowski added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Both players combined for nine assists, while the Sabres dished out 24 helpers on 31 total baskets.
The Warriors (10-16) came out strong out of the gates, hitting three straight three's to take a 9-5 lead. DJ Escamilla, who led WLC with 14 points, knocked down a three with 14 minutes left to give his team a 15-12 advantage. However, three minutes later and the Sabres had suddenly turned that into a 10-point lead of their own.
Creed led the run with an 18-foot jumper, followed by three-pointers from Veleke, Drew Binversie and Brad Koth with a Carvell Oliver jumper mixed in as well.
With the Sabres leading 41-22, Veleke followed up a Harris three with a steal and dunk at the other end, sending the 500-strong in attendance into a frenzy.
Alex Stecker and Harris combined for three straight makes from downtown to close out the half with a 52-22 Marian lead.
The Warriors managed just 34.5 percent from the field in the game, including just 28 percent (7-for-25) in the first half. They went the final five-plus minutes of the opening period without a field goal.
Wisconsin Lutheran outscored Marian by 10 points in the second half, utilizing a 13-for-19 effort at the foul line, along with 11 second-chance points, but the 30-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome.
Marian finished the game 31-for-52 from the field (59.6 percent), which was second to their 64.8 percent shooting display in a convincing win over Dominican earlier this year.
The Sabres will advance to the semifinal round and host fourth-seeded Aurora University (18-8), who ousted fifth-seeded Benedictine at home today. The Spartans have proven to be the thorn in Marian's side, handing the Sabres two of their three conference losses this year, including one in Fond du Lac back on Feb. 8.
Both teams will meet inside Sadoff Gymnasium Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – On a night that honored six Sabre seniors, it was freshman Josh Creed who stole the show with a steal and finish at the other end, leaving just 2.4 seconds remaining to give the Marian University men's basketball team a 73-71 win over visiting Concordia University Wisconsin, inside Sadoff Gymnasium, this evening, Feb. 19.
CUW's Mark Scholz gave the Falcons a 65-60 lead with 6:47 remaining and would be held without a field goal the rest of the way. Marian stormed back as senior Jeff Harris put together a solo 7-2 run to put the Sabres back in front with 2:30 to go. Garret Wenzelburger split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 71-all and that set up the final sequence.
Creed's heroics in the waning moments came following a CUW timeout with 15.7 seconds remaining. The Chicago native read an Eric Kittel pass and took it the distance to put the Sabres (19-6, 17-3 NACC) on top. A Falcon (11-14, 9-11 NACC) prayer in the final 2.4 seconds was off the mark and Marian claimed the outright Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference championship and the top seed in the upcoming postseason tournament with the win.
Creed finished with a double-double, netting 14 points, 10 rebounds and the key steal, while seniors Cody Veleke and Jeff Harris added 17 points apiece in the win. CUW was led by Garret Wenzelburger's 24 points on 8-for-10 shooting, while Eric Kittel added 15 points on four three's.
The Sabres led most of the way, pulling out in front by as many as 12 points just after the midway point of the first half following a Veleke lay-in to make it 27-15. The Falcons then responded with a 14-2 run to tie the game. Marian would stave off the visitors for a 40-35 halftime advantage.
In the second half, the Sabres took a 47-40 lead on an Alex Stecker layup at the 17:40 mark. CUW would once again have an answer as Wenzelburger and Kittel teamed up to give the Falcons a 48-47 advantage.
Concordia Wisconsin would take a 65-60 lead on Scholz's layup at the 6:47 mark and the Falcons would go without another field goal the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Marian received contributions from Harris, Veleke and, of course, Creed to seal the thrilling win.
CUW shot 52 percent (26-for-50) from the floor, but just 53.8 percent (14-for-26) from the free throw line. The Sabres went 28-for-58 from the field (48.3 percent) and 13-of-15 from the charity stripe. Marian out-rebounded CUW, 35-27, while each team tallied 42 points in the paint.
Marian honored its six seniors, Augustine Avelleyra, James Bartelt, Sam Koslowski, Elan Solvik, Harris and Veleke prior to the start of the game.
As the top seed, Marian will host eighth-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran this Saturday at 7 p.m., while sixth-seeded Concordia Wisconsin will travel to third-seeded Lakeland.
RIVER FOREST, Ill. (SabreAthletics.com) – Senior Sam Koslowski became the 17th member to join the 1,000-point club and the Marian University men's basketball team clinched at least a share of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference regular season championship, their first conference title since the 1999-2000 season, with an 81-64 victory over host Concordia University Chicago inside Geiseman Gymnasium, this afternoon, Feb. 15.
The Sabres (18-6, 16-3 NACC) maintain their one game lead in the league standings and reached their highest win total since the 1993-94 season after imposing their will with a 46-point second-half output. After trailing for some of the first half, Marian used a 14-4 run to take a 35-29 lead into halftime. It then opened the second half with a 9-1 run and never looked back, leading by as many as 26 points midway through the second stanza.
Koslowski wasted no time getting the final two points he needed to reach 1,000 for his career, connecting on a jumper just 38 second into the game to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead. He finished with 14 points and six rebounds, sharing team-high honors with Josh Creed, who totaled 14 points, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
A total of 12 Sabres cracked the scoring column, while four reached double figures, led by Koslowski and Josh Creed, who registered 14 points apiece. Cody Veleke and Drew Binversie each added 10, while the Sabres shot 50 percent (30-for-60) as a team, including 8-for-17 from downtown and 13-for-18 at the free throw line. Brandon Stinson led the Cougars (5-18, 2-16 NACC) with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Marcus Elston chipped in 17 and 14 rebounds in the loss.
At the 9:56 mark, Marian had outscored Concordia Chicago 25-5 in the second half and run its largest lead to 26 points with a 60-34 lead following a Creed lay-in.
The second half began with a 7-0 Marian run, highlighted by an Alex Stecker three-pointer. A 14-4 run that included two Koslowski three's ballooned the advantage to 56-33 and the onslaught was on. The Sabres allowed the Cougars to hang in the game for the first half, but came out of the second half with a renewed energy and flexed their muscles at the league's top team for the final 20 minutes.
CUC led by as many as five points when Nat Pearson knocked down a three-pointer to make it 15-10 with 12:40 left in the first half. The Sabres would finally regain the lead on a Binversie three at the 5:38 mark to make it 26-25 and they never looked back.
As it has done successfully all year long, Marian was able to get everyone involved by registering 23 assists on 30 made baskets - a season-high. The Sabres held the Cougars to just 32 percent (21-for-65) from the field, including 2-for-17 from downtown, while outscoring the hosts 36-10 in bench points.
The win marked Marian's first at Concordia Chicago since the 2007-08 season and the 4-1 record in Illinois for a single season is the program's best-ever, having only lost to Aurora back on Dec. 20.
The Sabres will take their slim one game lead in the NACC standings into their final regular season game. It will be a Senior Night match-up with rival Concordia University Wisconsin Wednesday, Feb. 19, inside Sadoff Gymnasium in Fond du Lac.
A ceremony honoring seniors Sam Koslowski, Cody Veleke, Jeff Harris, James Bartelt, Elan Solvik and student assistant coach Augustine Avelleyra will take place prior to the 7 p.m. tip-off.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – A wire-to-wire road victory snapped a nine-year drought at Woltzen Gymnasium and spoiled the Senior Night festivities for Lakeland College as the Marian University men's basketball team registered a 79-64 victory, Tuesday evening, Feb. 11.
The Sabres (17-6, 15-3 NACC) entered the night looking to shake off a two-game skid and wound up making a statement to the rest of the league. Marian never trailed as freshman Josh Creed tied a career-high with 16 points to lead five Sabres in double figures. The Muskies (16-6, 12-5 NACC) had entered the night with a 10-1 home mark and hadn't lost to the Sabres in the friendly confines of Woltzen Gymnasium since December 2004.
Marian made it a night they would like to forget as a stifling defensive effort paved the way to a convincing victory Tuesday night.
"Defensively, we really made it tough for them to score," Head Coach Mark Boyle said. "In the first half, we just did an outstanding job. Nothing came easy for them and it set the tone."
Lakeland averaged a league-best 85.5 points per game this season, but managed just 25 in the first half. Other than Kurt Jansen's 17 points off the bench, the Muskies put only two others in double figures as James Oshkeshequoam and Joey Burris each fell below their season averages with 11 and 10 points, respectively. The NACC's leading scorer, Justin Ward, played limited minutes in the first half due to foul trouble before exiting in the second half due to injury. He finished with one point and six rebounds.
"Our focus was just excellent tonight," Boyle said. "Our will to play and reluctance to get beat was there. This was a huge win for us."
Five Sabres reached double figures, in all, with Mike Keller adding 13 points, Jeff Harris 11 and Cody Veleke and Alex Stecker with 10 points apiece. Creed tied Drew Binversie with a game-high eight rebounds as well. Binversie chipped in eight points and five assists as well.
Marian jumped out to a 15-5 advantage, holding the Muskies under 10 points past the midway point in the first half. Lakeland responded quickly to eventually bring the deficit to three points at 25-22 with 2:29 remaining in the first half. A pair of Sam Koslowski free throws, followed by back-to-back three's by Harris and Koslowski and the Sabres entered halftime with a head of steam and a 33-25 lead.
Koslowski came into the game needing just 11 points to eclipse 1,000 for his career, but finished two points shy of the mark. Despite putting off the milestone for one more game, the senior was able to get the job done in other facets. The Neenah native tallied six rebounds, five assists and four steals in 29 minutes to drive the Sabres to victory.
"Whenever they made a run, we had an answer," Boyle said. "We reached deep. Our defense in the first half was something we could really get momentum off of and we used that in the second half."
After pushing the lead back to double digits, the Muskies once again cut the deficit to four points at 37-33 with 16:38 left in the second half. However, as was the story all night, the Sabres had an answer.
Both sides traded baskets and with the lead at six point, Harris drove to the basket and earned an old-fashioned three-point play to quiet the crowd.
After a Mitchell School layup to cut the deficit to seven, Creed slammed it over Lakeland's Jacob Servais, who also committed the foul. Back-to-back three-point plays had Marian back up double digits at 55-45 and a few minutes later, the Sabres used a 17-5 run to really break it open, taking a 76-56 lead that was too much for the Muskies to overcome.
"We can enjoy this, but there's things we still have to take care of," Boyle said. "We want to win the conference and the best way to do it is to take charge ourselves. We did that tonight. I can honestly say that there wasn't one player tonight that had a bad game. Everyone played well."
The Sabres will be back in action Saturday, Feb. 15, at Concordia University Chicago (5-17, 2-15 NACC). Tip-off is set for 2 p.m inside Geiseman Gymnasium in River Forest, Ill.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – A 22-5 run over the final 9:04 capped an impressive 12-point comeback and stunned a Marian University men's basketball team that thought it had the game in control as visiting Aurora University came away with the 78-73 win on Alumni Day inside Sadoff Gymnasium, this afternoon, Feb. 8.
The Sabres (16-6, 14-3 NACC) built on a six-point halftime advantage to lead by as many as 12 points in the second half, but the Spartans (14-8, 11-6 NACC) did not go away quietly. Aurora stormed back over the final nine minutes and used a 10-0 in the final four minutes to take a 75-70 lead they would not relinquish.
Marian's Sam Koslowski led all scorers with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting, while Jeff Harris and Josh Creed both added 12 points off the bench. Aurora was led by Kalmon Stokes' 17 points, while Brandon Smith and Gavin Walker keyed the game-deciding run and chipped in 15 and 13 points, respectively.
The Sabres started the game slow as the Spartans held a five-point lead midway through the period, but the hosts didn't let things get too far out of hand. Aurora went ice cold down from the floor late in the half, missing six of its last seven shots to finish the half 47.8 percent from the field.
Marian on the other hand put together an 18-6 run over the final 6:13 to shoot 44.3 percent and take a 43-37 lead into the half. Koslowski scored 13 of his game-high total in the first 20 minutes.
Early in the second half, the Sabres went on a stretch of five made baskets in six possessions, which including a Harris three, Creed jumper and Drew Binversie layup to cap the run that made the score 62-53 with 13:38 to go. At the 9:04 mark, Creed added another layup to give the Sabres a 68-56 advantage and seemingly seized control over the Spartans.
However, Aurora did not shy away from the challenge and used a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to three points, capped by a Kyle Pilmer dunk at the 4:38 mark.
A 10-0 run later and the Spartans had matched their largest lead of the game at five points, 75-70 with 1:09 remaining. Koslowski answered back at the other end with a three from the top of the key to make it 75-73 Spartans, but a turnover on the Sabres' next possession was too much to overcome.
Marian, which has seen its NACC lead shrink to just a game over MSOE, will travel to Lakeland for a pivotal Tuesday match-up that is set for 7 p.m.
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – A slow start doomed the Sabres as MSOE jumped out to 13-0 lead and never looked back, snapping the Marian University men's basketball team's nine-game winning streak following a 77-66 victory inside the Kern Center, this evening, Feb. 5.
Marian (16-5, 14-2 NACC) trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half before cutting the deficit to five at halftime, but MSOE (17-4, 12-4 NACC) had an answer for every Sabre comeback attempt in the final 20 minutes and was able to put the game away down the stretch. The Raiders went 37-for-45 at the free throw line and shot over 46 percent from the field. Austin Stueck led all scorers with 24 points, while John Cording added 17.
The Sabres managed to get to the foul line just 14 times, making 11 attempts and were led by Alex Stecker's team-high 13 points to go along with three rebounds and four assists. Cody Veleke added 10 points, while Drew Binversie and Josh Creed chipped in eight and seven points, respectively, and added four rebounds apiece as Marian fell for the first time since Dec. 20.
Out of halftime, the Sabres, who ended the half on a 6-0 run made it nine straight when Stecker knocked down a three to make it 41-38 less than a minute into the second half.
However, by the midway point, the MSOE lead had grown back to double digits as a long loose ball rebound resulted in a Stueck dunk at the other end to make it 54-43 Raiders. MSOE built the advantage to as many as 18 points before Marian cut into the deficit once again.
Just outside of a minute to go, Stecker connected on a pair of three's to make it 71-63, but that was as close as the Sabres would get in a tough atmosphere on the road.
The Raiders raced out to a 13-0 lead out of the gates and led by as many as 19 points with a 28-9 advantage midway through the first half. The Sabres started 4-for-17 from the field before closing out the half 11-for-26 (42.3 percent). A 10-3 Marian run cut the deficit to just six points at 41-35 and was capped with a Brad Koth three-pointer with time winding down.
The Raiders used an 18-for-21 effort from the foul line to aid their impressive first half against the first-place Sabres. Stueck , who led all scorers with 16 points in the opening 20 minutes went 5-for-7 from the line to lead MSOE, while Creed led Marian with seven points in five minutes off the bench.
The Sabres outscored MSOE 20-16 in the paint and held a 25-16 lead in bench scoring, while turning 13 Raider turnovers into 17 points.
Marian will be back in action against Aurora University (13-8, 10-6 NACC) in what will be honored as Alumni Day this Saturday, Feb. 8. Men tip off at 2 p.m. followed by the women at 4:15. Live stats and audio links will be provided via SabreAthletics.com and Stretch Internet.
RIVER FOREST, Ill. (SabreAthletics.com) – Postponed two days by a winter storm that swept through the region, the Marian University men's basketball team used the extra time to its advantage, shooting nearly 65 percent from the field and cruising to an 85-51 road win over host Dominican University inside the Igini Sports Forum, this evening, Feb. 3.
The Sabres (16-4, 14-1 NACC) led by as many as 37 points and never trailed as it dominated the paint, 48-20, and held the Stars (4-16, 3-12 NACC) to just 31.5 percent from the field en route to their ninth straight win and 15th in their last 16 games. Senior Sam Koslowski and freshman Josh Creed tied for game-high honors with 14 points, while sophomore Carvell Oliver added a career-high 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
Marian put 13 players in the scoring column and held a 47-16 bench scoring advantage in a balanced effort all around.
Marian used an 18-0 run that spanned more than five minutes midway through the first half to take a commanding 29-9 lead and never looked back. It shot a blistering 73.1 percent (19-for-26) in the opening stanza on the way to a 47-22 halftime lead.
The hot-shooting continued as the Sabres went 16-for-28 (57.1 percent) in the second half on the way to a season-high 64.8 percent output.
Senior Cody Veleke chipped in nine points, while sophomore Alex Stecker added eight points and four assists for Marian. Senior Jeff Harris and freshman Montrell Hobbs tied for a game-high with four rebounds and the Sabres improved to 12-0 when out-rebounding their opponents.
Kyle Sherwin led the Stars with 14 points, while Ryan Risley chipped in nine.
Marian will hit the road for a midweek tilt at third-place MSOE (16-4, 11-4 NACC) this Wednesday, Feb. 5. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Kern Center in Milwaukee.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)