FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – A 22-5 run over the final 9:04 capped an impressive 12-point comeback and stunned a Marian University men's basketball team that thought it had the game in control as visiting Aurora University came away with the 78-73 win on Alumni Day inside Sadoff Gymnasium, this afternoon, Feb. 8.
The Sabres (16-6, 14-3 NACC) built on a six-point halftime advantage to lead by as many as 12 points in the second half, but the Spartans (14-8, 11-6 NACC) did not go away quietly. Aurora stormed back over the final nine minutes and used a 10-0 in the final four minutes to take a 75-70 lead they would not relinquish.
Marian's Sam Koslowski led all scorers with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting, while Jeff Harris and Josh Creed both added 12 points off the bench. Aurora was led by Kalmon Stokes' 17 points, while Brandon Smith and Gavin Walker keyed the game-deciding run and chipped in 15 and 13 points, respectively.
The Sabres started the game slow as the Spartans held a five-point lead midway through the period, but the hosts didn't let things get too far out of hand. Aurora went ice cold down from the floor late in the half, missing six of its last seven shots to finish the half 47.8 percent from the field.
Marian on the other hand put together an 18-6 run over the final 6:13 to shoot 44.3 percent and take a 43-37 lead into the half. Koslowski scored 13 of his game-high total in the first 20 minutes.
Early in the second half, the Sabres went on a stretch of five made baskets in six possessions, which including a Harris three, Creed jumper and Drew Binversie layup to cap the run that made the score 62-53 with 13:38 to go. At the 9:04 mark, Creed added another layup to give the Sabres a 68-56 advantage and seemingly seized control over the Spartans.
However, Aurora did not shy away from the challenge and used a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to three points, capped by a Kyle Pilmer dunk at the 4:38 mark.
A 10-0 run later and the Spartans had matched their largest lead of the game at five points, 75-70 with 1:09 remaining. Koslowski answered back at the other end with a three from the top of the key to make it 75-73 Spartans, but a turnover on the Sabres' next possession was too much to overcome.
Marian, which has seen its NACC lead shrink to just a game over MSOE, will travel to Lakeland for a pivotal Tuesday match-up that 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)