LISLE, Illinois (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team put forth a late charge in cutting the deficit to four points with less than 2 minutes left, but host Benedictine University was able to stave off the run and lead wire-to-wire en route to the 80-70 win at the Ada Rice Center, today, Jan. 3.
A 60 percent second-half shooting performance wasn't enough to make up a 16-point halftime deficit for the Sabres (6-6, 5-2 NACC), who fall for the fourth straight time. Marian junior Alex Stecker scored 15 of his game-high 17 points in the second half, while sophomore Josh Creedadded 12 in the final 20 minutes to finish with 16 points. Montrell Hobbs added 10 points in his first start of the year and Carvell Oliver chipped in 9 points off the bench.
The Eagles (7-5, 5-2 NACC) pulled even with the Sabres in the league standings thanks to a 60 percent first-half shooting effort, a 24-for-29 performance at the free throw line and a 30-20 edge on the boards. John Dodson and Mike Balszczyk tied for team-high honors with 15 points, accounting for 20 points combined in a tone-setting first half.
Marian climbed back in the game after trailing by 14 points with under 6 minutes remaining. A 14-4 run started by a Stecker 3-pointer and capped by a Creed layup cut the deficit to 72-68 with 1:53 to go.
With Benedictine leading 74-70, Dodson came up big with the shot clock winding down, converting a nifty scoop shot to put the Eagles back up six with 47 seconds remaining. The bucket forced the Sabres into desperation mode and the Eagles pushed the lead back to double digits, which is how the game would eventually end.
Marian will have a quick turnaround with another road test at NACC-foe Edgewood College Monday, Jan. 5. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in Madison.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)