By: Sports Information Director, Luke Pattarozzi
MEQUON, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team erased a 16-point deficit, but was unable to hold on to its lead as rival Concordia University Wisconsin escaped with a 67-60 victory inside Buuck Fieldhouse, this evening, Jan. 15.
The Sabres used a 21-7 run to open the second half, eliminating a once 16-point deficit and 12-point CUW halftime lead. Much like Marian's first meeting with CUW, it failed to hold a lead late in the game. The Sabres held a 58-55 lead with 5:43 remaining, but the Falcons closed the game on a 12-2 run for the seven-point victory.
Cody Veleke led four Sabres in double figures with 14 points. Sam Koslowski and Alex Stecker had 12 and 11 points, respectively, while Brad Koth chipped in 10 off the bench. CUW's Mark Pace led all scorers with 21 points. Brian Jackson had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the game's lone double-double, while Steve Zielinski fell just shy of his own version, finishing with nine blocks and eight rebounds.
Concordia Wisconsin improved to 9-6 overall, 6-2 in the NAC with the win. Meanwhile, Marian saw its four-game winning streak snapped as it fell to 8-8 (4-4 NAC) with the loss.
The Falcons came out firing on all cylinders, shooting 57.1 percent in the first half to take a 12-point lead into the locker room. They held the Sabres to 40 percent shooting. Pace led all scorers at the break with 11 points. Veleke had eight points for Marian.
In the second half, it was all Sabres from the get-go. Marian scored the half's first seven points, leading to an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 42-39 at the 15:38 mark and forcing a CUW timeout.
Pace converted a pair of free throws out of the timeout to halt the run, but it was Koth to the rescue for the second straight game. Against Wisconsin Lutheran last Saturday, Koth hit a pair of late three's to give Marian its first lead of the game before eventually winning in double overtime. Tonight, he hit two more, separated by an Elan Solvik jumper, that gave the Sabres a 49-47 lead with 11:34 remaining.
From then, it was a back-and-forth battle between both teams. A trend they have grown accustomed to of late. Earlier this season, the Falcons stole a one point win inside Sadoff Gymnasium. That was followed by their final meeting a season ago at Buuck Fieldhouse in which the Sabres squandered a late lead to Luke Doedens' buzzer beating shot to send the game to overtime, which also led to a Falcon victory.
The game would have a similar feel without the late-game heroics as Pace and the Falcons converted free throws down the stretch and denied the Sabres an opportunity to seize the moment.
Despite the loss, Marian has won five of its last seven games and sits in contention in the NAC North Division behind Lakeland, Concordia Wisconsin and MSOE, two of which they will face again this season.
Next up for the Sabres will be Maranatha Baptist, which is still searching for its first NAC win of the season. Both teams will meet Thursday, Jan. 17, in Watertown. Tip-off is set for 7 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)