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