AURORA, Ill. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team had a tough conference match-up against the Aurora Spartans, today, Feb. 7. The Sabres were unable to grasp a lead throughout the game as the Spartans hung on to beat the Sabres 80-78.
The Sabres (10-12, 9-8 NACC) shot over 44 percent as a team, but it was not enough to surpass the high-scoring Spartan offense. The Spartans (17-6, 14-4 NACC) shot over 56 percent and were aided by 30 free throw attempts on the day.
The Spartans were the first to get on the board, and despite allowing the Sabres to even the score multiple times, they never allowed the Sabres to take control. A well-balanced first half attack by the Spartans gave them a seven-point lead going into half time.
Offensively, the Sabres stepped it up in the second half as they outscored the Spartans 49-44, but it was not enough to overcome the first half deficit. Tyler Hall was a nightmare for the Sabres as he scored 18 points off the bench for the Spartans in the half.
Brandon McCullum was the Sabres most dangerous weapon in the second half as he had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting while stealing the ball twice. He finished the night with 17 points off the bench. Montrell Hobbs and Drew Binversie were also very effective on the night as they scored 17 and 16 points respectively.
Hall was the game's top scorer with 25 points while also having a game-high five steals. The Spartans also found success from Brandon Smith who had 15 points and Kyle Pilmer who had 12.
Currently the Sabres are in seventh place in the NACC, but they already have locked down a spot in the NACC tournament. The Sabres are tied with MSOE at 9-8 in the conference, but the Raiders have the tie breaker due to their upset on Senior Day. The Sabres look to overtake the Raiders for the sixth seed in their final three games of the season, starting with Lakeland on Tuesday, Feb.10. Tipoff is set for 7 pm.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)