Marian University women’s basketball (2-13, 0-10 NACC) never trailed by more than nine points against the second best team in the NACC, Benedictine, but the Sabres couldn’t rally in the final minute falling to the Eagles 52-48.
The Sabres shot a season-high 43.4-percent from the field off of 23-53 shooting but the charity stripe was unkind to the Sabres going 1-6 (.167). The Marian defense was just as strong holding the Eagles to a season-low 19-60 (.317) shooting from the field.
Benedictine looked like they might pull away from the Sabres early after opening the game with a 17-8 run and 3:19 remaining in the first quarter. A Marian timeout proved to be a momentum shifter as the Sabres closed out the final minutes on a 5-0 to keep the Eagles close.
The Eagles then led for most of the game but the Sabres were able to keep the deficit manageable. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Marian made their move and took the lead for the first time in the game since the beginning of the game when the Sabres scored the first basket. Back-to-back baskets from junior Rachel Serchen put Marian ahead 44-43 with 4:16 left in the game but the Eagles scored four consecutive points to take the lead for good.
Serchen went on to lead the Sabres with a game-high 16 points, while senior Brandi Bender chipped in 12 points. Bender also had seven rebounds, four assists and three steals to close out her stat line. Junior Sarah Schultz went on to lead the Sabres down low with eight defensive rebounds.
Marian controlled the action in the paint out scoring Benedictine 32-24 in the paint.
Marian closes out the season series with Concordia Chicago Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. on the road.