AURORA, Ill. – Marian had four student-athletes score in double figures as the Sabres topped Aurora 98-96 Wednesday evening in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference action played at Thornton Gymnasium.
With a total of 15 lead changes and six ties, the end result wouldn't be decided until the final minutes.
With the Sabres trailing 90-89, Carvell Oliver put the game on his back. The 6-foot guard drilled the go-ahead 3 pointer at the 1:55 mark and scored the Sabres' next nine points – including going 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the final 20 seconds to secure the win.
Aurora entered halftime with a 47-45 lead and two minutes into the second half expanded its advantage to 52-47. However, the Sabres' offense awoke. Over the ensuing 10 minutes MU went on a 31-15 run and led 78-67 with eight minutes remaining in the second half.
The Spartans (5-1, 3-1 NACC) clawed their way back into the game and momentarily took a lead before Oliver's late heroics.
Oliver scored a game-high 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 5-of-6 from the 3-point line.
MU had its best shooting night of the season and connected on 57 percent (36-of-63) of its shots from the floor, including a sizzling 68 percent (11-of-16) from beyond the arc. As a team the Sabres scored 36 points in the paint and hauled in 35 rebounds.
The Sabres (4-4, 1-3 NACC) return to the hardwood Saturday and play host to Rockford.