Sabres rally in fourth quarter to down Eagles

MADISON, Wis. - Marian Univerisity women's basketball (4-18, 3-14 NACC) rallied in the fourth quarter after a late Eagle run to defeat Edgewood 52-49 in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference action.

Both sides traded baskets to open the game with the Sabres taking an early 14-10 lead.  Edgewood then made the first big run of the game closing out the first quarter on an 11-0 run that gave the Eagles a 21-14 lead heading into the first break.

The Sabres responded to the late Eagle rally opening the second quarter with an 11-0 run of their own to regain the lead at 23-21.  Marian held onto this slight advantage to a 27-23 score before a pair of three-point baskets from Edgewood gave the Eagles the lead back at 29-27.

The next possession saw senior guard Nicole Paulus get to the basket for a layup that gave her 1,000 points for her career becoming the 13th Marian women's basketball player to reach the milestone.

MU then scored four of the final six points in the quarter to take a small 32-31 lead into halftime.

The third quarter opened with Marian extending their lead with a 7-3 run, but the remainder of the quarter saw both defenses thrive.  Following the Sabre run neither team would be able to find the bottom of the hoop for a four-minute span, which was followed by Edgewood trimming the Sabre lead to 41-38 heading into the final quarter.

The Eagles continued their momentum swing as they were able to regain the lead at 45-41 scoring the first seven points of the fourth quarter.  The spurt drew a Marian timeout which propelled Marian to score the next eight points and snatch the lead back at 49-45 with 3:24 left in the game.  This run proved to be the difference-maker as the Sabres were able to hang on to the finish and seal a 52-49 victory.

The Sabre defense was able to force 21 Edgewood turnovers, which translated into 20 points.  Marian was also able to push the tempo with 12 fastbreak points in the victory.

Paulus led the offense with a game-high 22 points, while junior Brandi Bender scored nine points with six rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block.

Marian will return home for senior day against Rockford College Saturday, Feb. 11 for a 2 p.m. tip.