FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – It was a match-up of runs and the one that mattered most went to visiting University of Chicago as the Maroons knocked of the host Marian University women's basketball team, 77-62, inside Sadoff Gymnasium, this evening, Jan. 22.
After trailing by 15 points in the first half, the Sabres made a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to five and trail only by seven going into halftime. In the second half, a 9-0 run gave Marian its first lead of the contest, but a 16-3 response by the Maroons was too much to overcome.
Chicago improved to 6-10 overall with the win, while Marian dropped to 4-15.
Much like in its last game against Aurora, Marian started the game slow before nearly overcoming a 17-point first half deficit. The Sabres showed a lot of fight as usual, but the early disadvantage proved to wear them down in the end.
Two Ashley Backes layups, combined with a pair of Amelia Mirsberger free throws and a Rissa Cerveny three capped a 9-0 scoring run that tied the game for the first time at 40-40. An Ali Shaw three-point play regained the lead for Chicago, but Backes fueled Marian to score eight of the game's next 11 points to give her team its first lead of the contest at 48-46 at the 13:08 mark.
Trailing 53-51 just prior to the midway point, it looked as if the Sabres were poised to complete this comeback, but just then, Chicago would catch fire from behind the arc.
The Maroons used four three-pointers, two coming from Julie Muguira to spark a 16-3 run and take a commanding, 69-54, lead.
Chicago's defense buckled down in crunch time as well. Following the Backes bucket that gave the Sabres their only lead of the game, Marian would not convert a field goal for the next 10:04 when Sarah Albert scored to make the 69-60 with 3:04 remaining.
The Sabres turned 19 Chicago turnovers into 20 points, but the Maroons used a 41-19 edge on the glass, including 11 offensive rebounds that resulted in 12 second-chance points, to win the game.
Backes led all scorers with 21 points on 6-of-17 from the field, including 3-of-11 from three. Cerveny added 19, while Albert chipped in 11 points and a team-high six rebounds.
Muguira also registered 21 points on 8-for-11 from the field, including 5-for-5 from behind the arc. The Maroons as a team made an impressive 12 out of 18 attempts from downtown. Caitlin Moore added 13 and Ellie Greiner 12. Muguira and Greiner each hauled in a team-best eight rebounds.
Tonight's game was a make-up from Dec. 20, which saw nearly 20 inches of snow fall in the Fond du Lac area.
The Sabres will be idle this weekend prior to taking on Lakeland College on the road Wednesday, Jan. 30.