By: Sports Information Director, Luke Pattarozzi
MEQUON,Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team made its first appearance in the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament since 2008-09, but had to face top-seeded Concordia University Wisconsin, which proved too tough at home as it claimed a, 73-66, first-round victory Tuesday night, Feb. 21.
Trailing 52-38 in the second half, the Sabres embarked on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to four points, but CUW was able to provide just enough of an answer to preserve its lead and move onto the second round. Junior guard Jeff Harris led four Sabres in double-figures with 16 points. Luke Doedens led all scorers with 18 for the Falcons.
CUW improved to 21-5 on the season, while Marian fell to 10-16 to close out its 2011-12 campaign.
Following the Sabres' 10-0 run to cut the deficit to four points, 52-48, the Falcons responded with a 13-2 run to balloon the lead back to 15 points with 6:23 remaining in the game.
Still trailing by double-digits with time winding down under the 3:00 mark, the Sabres made one final comeback try. Mark Keller hit the second of his two three's on the night to pull Marian to within five points at 67-62, but CUW came back with four straight points on a pair of Mitchell Schneider free throws and a Doedens jumper to make it a nine-point lead with just 57 seconds remaining.
It was an uphill climb from halftime as Concordia posted a 65.2 (15-for-23) percent shooting opening stanza en route to a 39-26 lead at the break. The Sabres managed just 35.7 percent shooting or lower in each half, going 25-for-71 from the field for the game and just 7-for-25 from three-point range.
The Sabres out-rebounded CUW, 38-34, and got 20 offensive boards, which translated into 22 second chance points. However, despite a season-low nine turnovers for Marian, the Falcons managed to turn them into 19 points at the other end.
Sam Koslowski scored 13 points off the bench for the Sabres, while Mike Keller added 12 and Cody Veleke chipped in 11. Schneider added 15 for CUW and Brian Jackson pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Marian returns everyone next season, which promises to be an exciting 2012-13 campaign.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)