SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's basketball team ran into an offensive juggernaut as top-seeded Lakeland College came away with the 95-67 victory on its home floor in the 2013 Northern Athletics Conference Tournament first round, inside Woltzen Gymnasium, this afternoon, Feb. 16.
The Sabres cut a first-half double-digit deficit to seven points in the second half before a 23-7 run pushed the Lakeland lead out of reach over the final eight-plus minutes. Jake Schwarz led all scorers and four Muskies in double figures with 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-5 from downtown. Sam Koslowski and Cody Veleke each finished with 18 points for the Sabres.
Lakeland improved to 21-5 overall and advances to the semifinal round to take on fourth-seeded Concordia Wisconsin on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Marian's season comes to a close at 15-11 overall.
It's tough to beat a team three times in a season, but the Muskies were on a mission and were clicking on all cylinders offensively. They went 31-for-54 (57.4 percent) from the field, including 10-of-15 from three-point range and 23-of-27 from the free throw line in the win.
Marian struggled to find any offensive rhythm and turned the ball over 17 times, including eight times in the first half. The Muskies scored 27 points off Marian miscues, which proved about the difference in the game.
Trailing 10-7 early in the first half, the Sabres scored five straight points to take a two-point lead. The run was capped by a Mike Keller three-point play after getting fouled by Justin Ward on a layup attempt. That would be the final lead of the game for Marian as Lakeland embarked on a 9-0 run to regain the lead for good.
The Muskies led by as many as 16 in the second half before taking a 46-34 lead into the break. After going a blistering 54.8 percent from the field in the first, Lakeland upped the ante with a 60.9 percent showing in the second half.
Marian had no answer and its league-leading throw-point shooting percentage (37.7) abandoned them. The Sabres went just 4-for-20 from downtown and finished the game 22-of-52 (42.3 percent) from the field.
Marian returns nearly everyone next season with the exception of senior Jake Coenen, who scored eight points, including two three's, in his final game as a Sabre.