Late push falls short for Marian against Cougars

FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Marian University women's basketball (3-18, 2-14 NACC) rallied late but fell to Concordia Chicago by a final of 70-52.

The game opened highly contested with the Cougars taking an early and slim 9-8 advantage.  Concordia Chicago then closed out the first quarter with a 9-2 run and took an 18-10 lead heading into the first break.

The Sabre offense then struggled to find a rhythm in the second quarter as the Cougars were able to extend their lead out to 34-18 heading into halftime. 

Marian used the break to their advantage as they were able to come out in the third quarter and outscore CUC 21-16. The two teams went blow for blow to open the quarter with Concordia leading 46-28 with 5:27 left before Marian closed out the quarter with an 11-4 run to cut the deficit down to 11.

The Sabres would shoot 7-18 (.389) from the field in the quarter and went 7-8 (.875) from the charity stripe.  The MU defense also had a strong showing in the quarter forcing seven Cougar turnovers.

The Sabres continued to ride the wave of momentum eventually cutting the deficit down to single-digits at 58-49 with just 4:13 left to play off of a layup from senior Molly Kovarik.  The Sabres would run out of steam, however, as CUC was able to sink some late shots to ice the game at 70-52.

Senior Nicole Paulus led the way for Marian with a team-high 26 points, putting her just 13 points away from 1,000 career points, while junior Brandi Bender chipped in 13 points.  Paulus also had nine rebounds to lead the Sabres down low with Kovarik chipping in eight rebounds.

Marian returns to action Tuesday, Feb. 7 traveling to Edgewood for a 7 p.m. tip.