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.
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.