Hot-Shooting Sabres End Warriors' Season In NACC Tournament

Photo Credit: Larry Radloff,
Photo Credit: Larry Radloff,

FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Top-seeded Marian shot 67.7 percent in the first half and never looked back as it defeated the eighth-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team 83-63 Saturday night at Sadoff Gymnasium in a NACC Tournament Quarterfinal game. The loss ends the Warriors' season at 10-16 overall and 7-13 in conference play.

The Warriors started strong from the floor, making four of their first five three-point attempts for a 15-12 lead with 14:00 minutes remaining in the first half. Unfortunately for WLC, its lead didn't last long as the Sabres went on separate scoring runs of 13-0 and 16-0 to pull away from the Forest Green and White. In all, MU used a 40-7 burst over the last 13:38 of the first period to lead by an impressive 30 points, 52-22, at halftime.

DJ Escamilla (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) netted 12 of his team-high 14 points in the first half as WLC struggled from the floor, shooting just 28 percent (7-for-25). The Sabres shot a blistering 67.7 percent (21-for-31) from the floor, including 47.6 percent (10-for-21) from long distance. Cody Veleke scored 21 points on a perfect 9-for-9 shooting for Marian in the period.

Marian maintained its shooting success for much of the second half as it led by a game-high 38 points with 12:38 remaining. The Warriors would not go away, however, as they went on a 17-0 run to get within 21 points at the 8:13 mark. WLC came within 20 points as the final horn sounded.

Escamilla was the lone Warrior to reach double figures in the contest as 11 players reached the scoring column. Nate Siemers (Nicollet, Minn./Minnesota Valley Lutheran) corralled a game-high 11 rebounds. The Warriors shot 34.5 percent (20-for-58) for the game.

Veleke finished 10-for-10 from the floor for 23 points to pace three Sabres in double figures. Marian, which shot 59.6 percent (31-for-52), assisted on 24 of its 31 made field goals. The Sabres (20-6) advance to host fourth-seeded Aurora in Wednesday's semifinals.