Women's Hoops Outlasts MSOE, 72-60

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – Junior Ashley Backes knocked down her first nine shots and led the Marian University women's basketball team with 28 points and to a 72-60 victory over visiting MSOE in a Northern Athletics Conference match-up inside Sadoff Gymnasium, this evening, Dec. 4.

Backes scored 20 of the team's first 23 points and finished with a career-high 28 points in the winning effort, going 11-for-16 from the field, including 5-for-8 from downtown. Meanwhile, Megan Kroll and Shannon Larson tallied 26 and 25 points, respectively to lead the Raiders back from what appeared to be an impending blowout early on. Kroll added a game-high 14 rebounds for a double-double as well.

Marian never trailed and led by as many as 20 points with a 15-point lead at halftime. The Sabres evened its record to 3-3 overall, 2-2 in the NAC with the win, while MSOE fell to 0-5 (0-3 NAC).

Backes took over from the get-go, scoring Marian's first eight points of the contest. By the 11:57 mark of the first half, she had outscored MSOE 20-9 by herself, forcing the Raiders to call timeout. She finished the opening frame with 22 points, single-handedly leading Marian to a 15-point halftime lead.

The Sabres shot 53.6 percent (15-of-28) and converted seven three-pointers on the way to a 40-25 halftime advantage.

MSOE would do a much better job in the second half, limiting the Sabres to just 28 percent shooting on 7-of-25 and was able to cut the deficit to as few as six points when Larson knocked down a jumper to make it 60-54 with 5:01 remaining in regulation.

Marian proved too tough at the free throw line, however, as it sealed the win with an 18-for-20 effort at the charity stripe in the ballgame.

Freshman Rissa Cerveny chipped in 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Sabres to record her second double-double of the season. Junior Sarah Albert added 14 points, while connecting from long range three times. Senior Dani Huray scored six points and dished out six helpers as well.

The Sabres will face a tough test in conference rival, Lakeland College, this Saturday, Dec. 8. It will mark the first doubleheader of the season as both men's teams will follow at the conclusion of the women's 2 p.m. start.