FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – Solid defense and a fast start offensively propelled the Marian University men's basketball team to its fifth straight win and a 4-0 start in conference play as it knocked off Rockford University, 70-58, inside Sadoff Gymnasium, Saturday evening, Dec. 6.
Marian (5-2, 4-0 NACC) led by as many as 25 points with 10 minutes left in the game, building on a 12-point halftime lead to win going away and remain one-of-two unbeaten teams left in league play. Alex Stecker scored all of his game-high 12 points in the first half, connecting on 4-of-6 from downtown.
Montrell Hobbs added 10 points, 7 rebounds off the bench, while Drew Binversie chipped in 5 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists in the win.
The Sabres jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to Carvell Oliver, who recorded a steal and lay-in at the other end followed by a triple to force a Rockford (1-7, 1-3 NACC) timeout just 60 seconds into the game.
The Sabres would erase a 2-point deficit with an 18-4 run to make it 29-17 with 5:18 left in the first half. Marian would head to the locker room with a comfortable 38-26 advantage after shooting 51.7 percent (15-for-29) in the first half.
Binversie opened up the second half with a 3-pointer followed by a John O'Bryan bucket to make it 41-28. O'Bryan entered the game leading the NACC in scoring at 20.4 points per game, but was held to 17 points, 8 of which he scored in the final 6-plus minutes with the game well-in-hand.
From that point, the Sabres embarked on a 19-7 run, capped by three straight points by Isiah Daniels, to make it a 60-35 lead with 10:12 remaining. Daniels finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.
Bench scoring and rebounding played a large role in the win as Marian outscored Rockford 32-13 off the bench and registered a 42-23 advantage on the glass.
The Sabres sit tied for first place in the NACC with Aurora (6-2, 4-0 NACC) as the only remaining unbeaten teams in conference play.
Marian is 20-1 in its previous 21 home games against league opponents and will put that on the line as it welcomes Concordia Chicago to Sadoff Gymnasium next Saturday, Dec. 13. Tip-off is set for 4:15 p.m.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)