Marian University men’s basketball (0-3, 0-0 NACC) hung tight with UW-Eau Claire but a strong second half from the Blugolds gave UWEC a 79-57 win over the Sabres.
The Sabres would only manage a 34.5-percent field goal percentage in the opening half but the defense held strong holding UW-Eau Claire to a 34.3-percent field goal percentage. Marian would have six different scorers led by freshman Taylor Rahn who scored eight in the first 20 minutes. MU jumped out to an early 9-2 lead only to see the Blugolds take the lead at 12-9 scoring 10 unanswered.
From there, the rest of the half went back-and-forth with neither team leading by more than four. It wasn’t until the final minutes when the Blugolds used a 9-4 run, including a buzzer beater, to take a significant lead at 36-31.
UW-Eau Claire used the momentum from the end of the first half into the second stanza as they would shoot 16-29 (.552) from the field including 5-11 (.455) from beyond the arc. The Blugolds would have timely scoring throughout the game as they scored 19 points off 14 MU turnovers.
Senior Alex Manhardt would be the lone Sabre to reach double-digit points with 11 and also led the team with eight rebounds and four blocks.
Marian will next open NACC play when they travel to Benedictine Saturday, Nov. 25 for a 4:15 p.m. tip.