Marian University men’s basketball (8-11, 7-7 NACC) led by as much as 15 but Aurora managed to come back and defeat the Sabres 72-68.
The Sabre defense opened the game strong holding the Spartans to 9-31 (.290) shooting from the field, while Marian shot 16-34 (.471) from the field. The two squads went back-and-forth with the Sabres holding a 28-27 lead with 5:55 left in the first half. MU then finished the half with a 13-4 run to take a 41-31 lead into the locker room.
Marian built their lead out to 50-35 with 15:13 left in the game following a jumper from senior Alex Manhardt before the Spartans began their rally. Following the Manhardt jumper, the Spartans went on a 21-4 retaking the lead at 56-54 and 7:19 remaining.
From there, the game was similar to the start of the game with neither team building a lead larger than three before the final minute. The Sabres managed to tie the game twice in that span but wouldn’t manage to retake the lead the remainder of the game.
Manhardt led the Sabres going a perfect 6-6 from the field for a team-high 17 points to go with 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the year and three blocks. Freshman Logan Hamilton added 13 points off the bench, while junior Tyrese Pinson chipped in 12 points
Marian opens a three-game road trip Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Concordia Wis. for a 7 p.m. tip.