By: Sports Information Director, Luke Pattarozzi
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – A hard-fought comeback fell short for the Marian University men's basketball team as the visiting Ripon College Red Hawks spoiled the Sabres' home opener with an 82-71 victory at Sadoff Gymnasium this evening, Nov. 15.
The Red Hawks went into the break with a 15-point lead and built it up to 21 points with just over nine minutes remaining in the game. The Sabres trimmed it down to seven points with 1:30 left in the game before Ripon sealed the win with solid free throw shooting down the stretch. The Red Hawks finished the game 24-of-25 from the charity stripe overall.
Ripon's Taylor Koth led all scorers with a game-high 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 9-of-9 from the free throw line. He also added 11 rebounds. D3hoops.com preseason All-American, Aris Wurtz, chipped in 20 points for the Redhawks, seven rebounds and four assists in the winning effort.
On the other side, Marian sophomore Cody Veleke recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. The Sabres represented well from the free throw line with a 19-for-23 effort, but shot just 37.5 percent (24-of-64) from the field, including 4-of-29 from the three-point line. Freshman Mike Keller scored 13 points in his collegiate debut, while junior Jeff Harris added 11 points for the Sabres.
Ripon improves to 1-0 with the season opening win, while the Sabres drop to 0-1.
In their first game without Head Coach Mark Boyle, who is in the process of recovering from heart surgery, Interim Head Coach Tony Draves had the Sabres playing inspired basketball early on. The royal blue and scarlet took an 11-2 lead in the first four-plus minutes of game action and led 11-4 before Ripon was forced to call an early timeout.
Ripon head man Bob Gillespie must have said the right things because his group came out of the timeout to rally off six straight points before tying the game at 19-19 with 6:19 remaining in the first half. The Red Hawks then caught fire, out-scoring the Sabres 21-6 the rest of the way to take a 40-25 lead into the break.
Ripon went 14-of-14 at the line in the first half, led by Koth, who hit all seven of his free throws for 11 first half points.
In the second half, the Sabres increased the scoring, but the Red Hawks kept pace and eventually built a 21-point lead, 67-46, just over midway through the half. Trailing 74-56 with 5:18 left, the Sabres embarked on their comeback.
Sparked by a layup combo by the Keller brothers, Mike converted a layup assisted by his twin Mark Keller to make it 74-58. Over the next four minutes, Sabres would put together a 13-2 run that made it a seven-point, 76-69, game with 1:30 remaining. However, four consecutive Ripon free throws quickly push the deficit back to double-digits and sealed the win for the Red Hawks.
The Sabres will take part in the Carroll University Johnson Bank Tip-Off Tournament. Marian plays host Carroll in the first game Friday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. Saturday, they will play the winner of Carthage and Martin Luther in the finale of the round-robin tourney.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)