Marian University men’s basketball (13-7, 9-6 NACC) earned a hard-fought 81-76 victory over MSOE to sweep the season series.
The opening minutes were back-and-forth with neither team leading by more than five points. After trailing 21-20, MSOE was able to take the first significant lead of the game after an 11-2 run. The Sabres were able to chip away at the 31-23 deficit and trailed just 38-36 going into the break.
Marian came out shooting to open the second half and immediately retook the lead with a 10-2 run forcing an MSOE timeout. The Raiders were able to bounce back and tied the game at 49-49 as the game went back to a seesaw battle. MSOE was able to tie the game at 60-60 and called a timeout with 9:27 left to play but Marian went on a small 9-4 spurt to take a 69-64 lead with 6:36 left to play. This run proved to give Marian the lead for the remainder of the game.
The Sabres found themselves ahead 78-71 with 52 seconds remaining, their largest lead of the game, only to have MSOE battle back and cut their deficit down to 78-76 with 25 ticks left. Sophomore Ben Basten would hit a pair of free throws following and then forced a steal on the defensive end to ice the NACC win.
Marian went 14-of-31 (.452) from the field in the second half and hit seven three-pointers after being limited to just 4-of-17 (.235) shooting from beyond the arc in the first half. The Sabres also had 12 offensive boards that turned into 18 second-chance points.
Senior Dylan Gmeiner tied a career-best with 22 points as part of a double-double where he also had 11 rebounds. Junior Tyler Gouin also nearly had a double-double after scoring 18 points with nine assists.
Marian travels to Aurora Saturday, February 12 for a 4:15 p.m. tip in the only match-up of the regular season with the Spartans.