By: Sports Information Director, Luke Pattarozzi
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – In a battle for the seventh seed in the Northern Athletics Conference tournament, it was the visiting Aurora Spartans that came out on top with a 78-69 victory over the Marian University men's basketball team, this afternoon, Feb. 18, inside Sadoff Gymnasium.
The Sabres used a 17-2 run to erase a nine-point halftime deficit, but the Spartans stormed back by using a decisive 14-0 run later on to build a double-digit lead that held to the finish. Marian's Jeff Harris led all scorers with 15 points, but the Spartans put five players in double-figures, led by Joe Kwiatkowski and Scott Laskowski, who scored 14 points apiece.
Aurora improves to 13-12 overall and will play second-seeded Benedictine when first round action begins Tuesday, Feb. 21. Meanwhile, Marian falls to 10-15 overall and settles for the eighth seed, pitting them against top-seeded Concordia Wisconsin on Tuesday.
The 17-2 Marian run gave the hosts a five-point, 42-37, lead with 12:15 remaining. However, a timeout by Aurora Head Coach James Lancaster seemed to do the trick for his squad. The Spartans responded with seven straight points to regain the lead before embarking on a 14-0 run later on to take a commanding, 65-50, lead with just 5:41 remaining.
It was enough to carry them through as a balanced scoring attack kept the Sabres at bay. Esteban Vega added 13 points and seven assists for the Spartans, while Ryan Crow chipped in 11 points and Taj Baker tallied 10.
Aurora shot 51.7 (30-for-58) percent from the field, including a blistering 17-for-26 (65.4 percent) in the second half alone. The Sabres fired 24-for-52 (46.2 percent) from the field, including 6-for-17 from downtown. Sam Koslowski and Jake Coenen each reach double-figures off the bench with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Marian will travel to Mequon this Tuesday for a 7 p.m. tip-off against Concordia Wis. in a first round meeting in the NAC Tournament.
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(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)