By: Sports Information Director, Luke Pattarozzi
MEQUON, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team aimed at a second straight Northern Athletics Conference upset bid, but fell short in overtime to host Concordia University Wisconsin, 89-85, as free throws doomed the Sabres down the stretch this evening, Jan. 31.
Up 77-74 in the waning moments of regulation, junior guard Jeff Harris had a chance to put the game on ice and give Marian its second straight upset of a first place squad with a one-and-one try, but missed. After the Falcons came up empty on their next trip, Harris grabbed the rebound and was fouled with six seconds left and a double-bonus try ensuing. He missed both and Luke Doedens went down and buried the game-tying three with 0.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Harris answered a CUW bucket with a three of his own to put the Sabres back in front 80-79. After a pair of Falcon free throws, three of Mike Keller's career-high 20 points came on an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Sabres an 83-81 lead. That would be their final lead as CUW converted six free throws down the stretch to seal the four-point win.
Keller's 20 points in 39 minutes led four Sabres in double-figures, while Harris added 16, Sam Koslowski 15 and Cody Veleke 14. Doedens led all scorers with 27 points on 9-of-21 shooting, including 5-of-12 from downtown. Three other Falcons reached double-digits with Mitchell Schneider adding 18, Brian Jackson 13 and Ben Brooke 12.
The Falcons improve to 15-5 overall, 10-2 in the NAC with the win, while the Sabres fall to 7-13 (4-8 NAC).
The Sabres led by as many as 13 points in the second half, taking a 57-44 lead on Jake Coenen's only basket of the game, a pull-up three at the 11:47 mark, to force a CUW timeout. Out of the timeout, the Falcons went on a 13-0 run to tie the score, which forced the Sabres to call a timeout of their own. They responded with an 8-0 run to regain the lead.
A second half of runs followed a first half that saw both teams head to the locker room knotted up at 32-apiece.
The Sabres shot 53.3 percent (32-for-60) for the game, including 57 percent in the second half. Meanwhile, the defense held CUW to just 41.4 percent shooting for the game, including 9-for-25 from the outside. But in the end, the team that entered the night leading the league in free throw shooting couldn't live up to the billing as missed tries left the Falcons the window they needed to make the decisive comeback.
Marian out-rebounded its counterpart, 39-38, and outscored the Falcons 48-43 in the paint. However, CUW turned 25 turnovers into 30 points, proving to be another key to victory for the hosts.
The Sabres will be back in action this Saturday, Feb. 4, to take on Dominican in a cross-divisional battle inside Sadoff Gymnasium. The men's game will follow the women's contest slated for 2 p.m.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)