Women's Basketball Drop NAC Opener to Crusaders, 51-56

WATERTOWN, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University women's basketball team opened up Northern Athletics Conference play on the road with a loss to Maranatha Baptist Bible College, 51-56, this afternoon, Nov. 17.

The Sabres looked for redemption from last year's 54-52 defeat, but at the end of the day, found themselves with similar results. Down four points with 35 seconds left in the game, the Sabres had scoring opportunities to cut the lead, but Ashley Backes missed a three-pointer to cut the lead to one, and the put back by Amelia Mirsberger also rimmed out. With only six seconds left, the Sabres couldn't do anything but foul in an effort to extend the game.

Marian falls to 1-1 overall, 0-1 in the NAC, while the Crusaders improve to 1-0 (1-0 NAC) with the win.

Free throws seemed to be the difference-maker in the game as the Sabres shot 50 percent from the line going 5-10, while the Crusaders were able to get to the line six more times, going 10-16 (62 percent).

Maranatha remained in control of the entire game as they led wire-to-wire. At the 13:50 mark of the second half, Marian trailed only by one point with a three-pointer made by Rissa Cerveny, but fouls and layups allowed Maranatha to maintain the lead.

Backes led all scorers with 16 points, while Cerveny chipped in with 15 points.

The Sabres continue on the road as they visit seventh-ranked UW-Stevens Point, Tuesday, Nov. 20, inside Berg Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.