By: Sports Information Director, Luke Pattarozzi
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – Hot-shooting prevailed on this night as both teams shot over 55 percent from the field, but solid defense down the stretch proved the difference as the Marian University men's basketball team outlasted visiting Northern Athletics Conference foe, Edgewood College, 67-66, inside Sadoff Gymnasium this evening, Jan. 9.
The Sabres led by as many as 14 points in the second half, but a huge run allowed the Eagles to climb back to take a one point lead with 3:15 remaining. The score changed hands three more times with the final time coming on a Cody Veleke offensive rebound putback off a free throw miss to give Marian the lead. Edgewood had a chance in the waning moments, but to no avail.
Veleke led all scorers with 19 points on 8-for-11 from the field, while Alex Stecker added 16 points and Sam Koslowski 14. Veleke also hauled in 10 rebounds to record the double-double.
Marian improved to 7-7 overall, 3-3 in the NAC with its third straight victory and fourth in its last five games. Meanwhile, Edgewood fell to 3-12 (2-4 NAC) with the loss.
Both squads came out firing on all cylinders offensively, combining to hit nine of the game's first 10 shots. The Sabres finished the first half with a 38-30 lead on 60 percent (15-for-25) shooting. Despite trailing, the Eagles went 12-for-21 (57.1 percent) from the floor.
At the 12:04 mark in the second half, Marian's Brad Koth hit a three-pointer that gave the Sabres a 55-41 lead, their largest of the game and it seemed as if the game was in hand.
However, the Eagles had an answer as they embarked on a 21-7 run that tied the game with 3:53 remaining. A Joe Klocek layup gave Edgewood its first lead since the first half at 64-63 near the 3:00 mark, but then Veleke took over for the Sabres.
The junior forward had four points and five rebounds over the final few minutes, none bigger than the offensive rebound put back with 42 seconds left that gave the Sabres a 67-66 lead. Binversie, one of Marian's best free throw shooters missed both free throws for a chance to tie and possibly give Marian the lead, but Veleke was there to clean up the miss and his reverse layup put his team back in front.
The Sabres subsequently used a 30-second timeout to set up their defense. On the next Edgewood possession, Veleke hauled in a big defensive rebound on a Brett Meinecke missed layup. Veleke then looked ahead and his outlet pass led to the Sabres nearly running the remaining 13 seconds off the clock.
After a foul and another missed free throw by Marian, Edgewood had a final chance in the last 1.9 seconds, but failed to get a shot off.
The Sabres will look to make it four straight wins when they head to Milwaukee to take on Wisconsin Lutheran College this Saturday, Jan. 12. Tip-off is set for 4:15.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)