PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Marian University men’s basketball (19-9, 11-7 NACC) saw their season come to an end falling to No. 5 UW-Platteville in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
The opening 5:04 of the game was all Pioneers as UWP was able to score the first 11 points of the game. A dunk from senior Scott Paulus helped shift the momentum as Marian was able to go on a 16-5 run and tie the game at 16-16 with 9:37 left until the break. UW-Platteville had an answer, however, scoring eight unanswered points drawing a Marian timeout. After taking their advantage out to 33-25, Marian was able to rally in the final 3:26 of the half going on a 9-3 run to trail by just two at 36-34 going into the break.
The Sabres were able to outshoot the Pioneers in the opening 20 minutes going 13-of-25 (.520) from the field, but UWP was able to hit 10 three-pointers to take the slim lead into the break.
The Pioneers were able to get out to a fast start to open the second half just as they did in the first half scoring 13 unanswered points to take a 49-34 advantage to the under-16 media timeout. The break in the action proved helpful for the Sabres as Marian was able to go on a 7-3 run to cut their deficit down to 11 points with 12:18 left in the game. Marian was able to cut their deficit down to 11 once more but the Sabres were unable to find the big run they needed to get back into the game.
Marian finished with a 20-18 advantage in the paint and outscored the Pioneers 13-11 in points off of turnovers.
Senior David Britton finished with a team-high 18 points and junior Tyler Gouin was able to chip in 14 points with five boards and three assists. Senior DeAndre Ross was able to come off of the bench and provide a spark for the Sabres shooting 4-of-6 (.667) from the field for 10 points, while fellow senior Scott Paulus paced the defense with three steals and a block.
The 19-win season is the second most wins in program history during the NACC era. This was also only the second time Marian was able to qualify for the NCAA Tournament since joining the NACC.