FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference-leading Marian used an 11-2 run to break open a two-point lead with under five minutes to play and hand the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team a 69-58 defeat Tuesday night at Sadoff Gymnasium.
The Warriors played a tightly-contested opening 20 minutes against the NACC-leading Sabres. In a half that featured four lead changes, neither team led by more than five points for the first 15:07 of play. WLC, which had its largest lead of the half of three points (18-15), held a 24-22 lead with 6:43 left before the Sabres busted out for a 13-2 run to take their largest lead of the half at 35-26 at the 3:09 mark. The Warriors trailed 37-33 at the break after Taylor Chladek (West Allis, Wis./Nathan Hale) knocked down one of his two three-pointers just before the half expired.
Chladek finished with a first-half high 10 points as WLC shot 44.8 percent (13-of-29) from the floor. Meanwhile, Marian fired on an impressive 59.3 percent (16-of-27) from the field in the period.
The Warriors began the second half with an 11-4 run to grab a 44-41 lead with 14:31 left to play. Nearly four minutes later, WLC still held the lead at 52-50 before the Sabres stole the lead back with a 6-0 run of their own. Marian never relinquished its lead from that point forward despite WLC coming within just two points at 58-56 at the 4:40 mark. The Sabres sealed the game with an 8-0 over the final 1:54.
Jake Jarnigo (Lake Mills, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) tied for a game-high with 13 points to lead three players in double figures. Chladek (12) and Kyle Stelse (Jefferson, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) (10) also reached double-digits. Stelse also tied for a game-high with seven rebounds. WLC finished the game shooting 41.8 percent (23-of-55) from the floor, but just 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the free throw line.
Cody Veleke scored 13 points to lead four players in double figures for the Sabres (15-4, 13-1 NACC). Marian shot 50.9 percent (27-of-53) from the floor for the game.
WLC (5-13, 3-11 NACC) remains on the road Thursday when it travels to Dominican (4-14, 3-10 NACC) for a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Igini Sports Forum. Links to live audio, stats, and video for the game will be available at wlcsports.com.