Marian Staves Off Maranatha On the Road, 83-77

WATERTOWN, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team staved off a pesky Maranatha Baptist Bible College squad that is still searching for its first Northern Athletics Conference victory as the Sabres registered the 83-77 road victory, this evening, Jan. 17.

Sam Koslowski recorded a career-high 30 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc and 8-of-11 from the free throw line to lead all scorers. Marian made up a two-point halftime deficit and held off the Crusaders to win its fourth league game in the last five tries.

The Sabres improved to 9-8 overall, 5-4 in the NAC with the win, while Maranatha fell to 2-12 (0-9 NAC) with the loss.

Trailing 10-9 early on, the Sabres used a 12-2 run to take a 21-12 advantage over the Crusaders, their largest lead of the game. But Maranatha would not go away without a fight.

The Crusaders shot 61.5 percent (16-for-26) in the first half, including an astounding 8-for-12 from the three-point line. With time winding down in the opening period, Matthew Hunter knocked down a jumper to equal the Crusaders' largest lead of the game and give his team a 43-41 advantage at halftime. Hunter would finish with 16 points, going perfect from the field with a 6-for-6 effort, including 4-of-4 from downtown.

The start of the second half was a tight, back-and-forth battle as neither team gained more than a three-point lead until the 8:00 mark when Brad Koth drained a three to give Marian a 56-51 lead. Solvik then added another three to further increase the lead.

However, Maranatha would have another run in them. Matthew McGivern and Joel Borchardt combined for a 6-0 run to cut the Sabre lead to two points, 59-57.

That would be as close as the Crusaders got the rest of the way as Koslowski and company staved off their counterpart by going 22-for-34 at the free with several of those coming down the stretch.

Cody Veleke finished with 14 points and nine rebounds as he continues his strong play. Alex Stecker added 11 points, while Koth chipped in 10 off the bench.

Meanwhile, Brett Cashner led the Crusaders with a 21-point effort, while Borchardt and McGivern added 17 and 12, respectively. Borchardt added a game-high 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Marian will take some momentum into its showdown with the lone unbeaten in the NAC, Aurora University, who defeated Benedictine University tonight to move to 13-4 (8-0 NAC). Tip-off is set for this Saturday, Jan. 19, at 4:15 p.m.