MILWAUKEE (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team put an early scare into host UW-Milwaukee, holding a three-point lead as late as the midway point in the first half, but the underdog Sabres couldn't overcome their first NCAA Division I opponent in school history as the Panthers outlasted them, 80-52, in an exhibition inside U.S. Cellular Arena, on Halloween night.
Foul trouble hurt the Sabres early on, but the Panthers emerged the team most expected them to be as they were able to utilize their size and talent to make up an early deficit en route to a convincing win at home.
UW-Milwaukee put four players in double figures led by Thierno Niang's game-high 13 points. Sophomore Drew Binversie led the Marian offense with 12 points, going 5-for-9 from the field with three rebounds and three assists. Senior Sam Koslowski finished with nine points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes.
The first half started with a bang for the Sabres as they raced to a 5-0 lead on the Division I Panthers after a Mike Keller layup and a Sam Koslowski old-fashioned three-point play.
Marian continued to play well midway through the first half, holding two-point leads at the first two media timeouts, including a 17-15 advantage with 11:46 left.
It wasn't long, however, that foul trouble began to eat up the underdog Sabres. Marian was whistled for 17 fouls in the first half, compared to just nine for the host Panthers. Starters Keller and Veleke picked up three each, as did freshman Josh Creed off the bench.
Veleke finished the first half scoreless. After starting out the game 8-for-16, the Sabres finished up the half going 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the field, including 2-of-8 from downtown.
Meanwhile, UW-Milwaukee caught fire down the stretch to post a 43.3 shooting percentage (13-for-30), and used a 22-15 advantage on the boards, including 10 offensive rebounds to take a 41-30 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Sabres held the Panthers to just 35.3 percent (12-for-34) in the second half, including 3-for-14 from downtown, but weren't able to cut into the deficit as UWM continued to dominate on the glass.
The Panthers used their height advantage to turn in a 49-29 rebounding edge for the game with 22 offensive boards, which translated into 31 second-chance points.
Marian looked promising at times despite just two weeks of practice thus far this season. The Sabres will take many things away from tonight and look to apply them for two more weeks of preparation before gearing up for their season and home opener against Martin Luther College, Nov. 16.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)