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.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)