FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University women's basketball team had first-place Wisconsin Lutheran College on the ropes following a 17-4 run that gave the host Sabres an 11-point lead, but the Warrior defense was suffocating from that point on and flexed their muscles to a 64-41 victory inside Sadoff Gymnasium, this evening, Feb. 4.
Marian (5-16, 5-11 NACC) shot over 52 percent in the first half and sprinted to a 19-8 lead, but 11 costly turnovers allowed WLC (16-3, 14-1 NACC) to storm back and take a five-point lead into halftime. The Sabres were then held to just 26 percent shooting in the second half, while the Warriors ended the game with 24 points off 24 Marian miscues en route to their 15th straight win.
WLC's Kristen Schulz, who may be the front-runner for NACC Player of the Year with five games left in conference play, turned in a humble 15 points and six rebounds as she went just 6-for-18 from the field. Melanie Laete added 10 points, eight rebounds, while Brittanny Bahr chipped in 10 points off the bench as well. The Warrior bench put forth a solid effort, outscoring the Sabres, 24-6.
Marian's Sarah Olewinski and Emma Jarvey led the team with 11 points. Each scored just two points apiece in the second half. Sarah Albert added 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three.
Following a Christel Frey layup to put the Warriors ahead 4-2, the Sabres embarked on an 8-0 run that was keyed with an Albert three-pointer and capped with an Olewinski jumper to make it 10-4. Marian would then go on to score nine of the next 11 points after an Olewinski three made it 19-8 and it appeared the Sabres were clicking on all cylinders.
Wisconsin Lutheran's staple all season long has been its defense and they held the Sabres to just seven points for the remaining 11:36 of the first half. In fact, the Sabres scored just 11 points for more than minutes of game time. By that point, the score had ballooned to a 52-32 advantage for the visiting Warriors.
Marian managed just 15 points in the second half on 6-for-23 shooting and turned the ball over 13 times.
The Sabres will look to put this performance in the rearview mirror and attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive with a must-win game against Aurora University (10-10, 9-6 NACC) on Alumni Day this Saturday, Feb. 8. Tip-off is set for 4:15 p.m. following the men's game.