Koslowski leads Marian Over Northwestern, 71-69

DE PERE, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – Behind a game-high 20 points from junior Sam Koslowski and 22 second-chance points, the Marian University men's basketball team defeated Northwestern College (Minn.) in the consolation game of the Nicolet Bank Holiday Tournament hosted by St. Norbert College, this evening, Dec. 30.

The Sabres were opportunistic on the glass tonight as they took advantage of 16 offensive rebounds, turning them into 22 second-chance points. Koslowski went 7-for-16 from the field, including 2-for-4 from three and 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the win. Marian ended up 22-for-25 from the free throw as a team, staving off a Northwestern run at the end.

Marian improved to 5-7 overall with the win, while Northwestern fell to 7-4 with the loss.

In closely-played game throughout, the Sabres showed some resiliency in the first half after falling behind by nine in the first four minutes. Marian's Alex Stecker knocked down a three to open the game, but then the Eagles strung together 12 straight points before a Sabre timeout finally turned the tide.

A 9-0 Marian run erased the deficit and gave the Sabres a 20-17 advantage capped by a Rashad Wahab jumper. The sophomore finished with seven points and four rebounds off the bench, epitomizing a balanced all-around team effort in the win.

The teams headed into halftime tied at 32-all with Marian holding the advantage over its counterpart, 15-5, in bench scoring.

The Sabres stormed out of the break to go up by nine points, 49-40, with 14:16 remaining. The Eagles would end up cutting the deficit to a single point on three separate occasions, but the Sabres finally created some daylight down the stretch.

The Sabres were clutch at the charity stripe, hitting 22-of-25 for the contest and helping extend their lead to 69-63 with 20 seconds remaining. Down by five, Northwestern's Libby Ellis knocked down a three with two seconds left to provide the final margin of victory for the Sabres.

Ellis was one of three Eagles in double figures, scoring 15 points. Michael Carney also chipped in 15, while Wade Chitwood led his squad with 18 points.

The Sabres will be back in action Saturday, Jan. 5, taking on Rockford College in a Northern Athletics Conference home tilt. Tip-off is slated for 4:15 p.m. and will follow the women's game at 2 p.m.