Marian races past Beloit, 80-72

Josh Creed shoots the ball.

FOND DU LAC, Wis. -- Marian rallied back from an early 15-point first-half deficit and topped Beloit 80-72 Wednesday evening in a non-conference tilt at Sadoff Gymnasium.

"I tell you what, we faced some adversity early in the first half," MU head coach Mark Boyle said following the win. "This is the type of game that I wanted this group to play because it tells us a lot about ourselves. I like how we responded and battled back."

It took 10 minutes, but the MU offense heated up.

Trailing 21-6 at the midway point of the first half, Connor Morovits drilled a 3-pointer to start 16-0 run that lasted nearly four minutes. Coincidentally, Morovits hit another trey ball at the end of the scoring binge to give the Sabres a 22-21 lead.

The two teams traded baskets the remainder of the half and went into intermission squared at 35.

The Sabres jumped on the Buccaneers to start the second half. Josh Creed nailed a jump shot to start a 14-0 run that lasted over five minutes.

Beloit (1-1, 0-0 MWC) would come to within four points late, but the Marian defense withstood the charge to closeout the win.

The Blue and White received great efforts from Montrell Hobbs and Creed.

Hobbs, a 6-foot-2 forward, tied for a team-high 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field and hauled in 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

Creed also dropped 22 points and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.

"Josh and Montrell played great and were active in the post." Boyle said. "A lot of games are won with rebounding and having a presence in front of the basket and that's what they did well tonight."

Alex Stecker played a team-high 34 minutes and helped out with 10 points.

The Sabres' stingy defense kept the Buccaneers off balance. MU forced 16 turnovers, which turned into 17 points. Meanwhile the Sabres protected the basketball and committed only eight turnovers.

Marian (2-0, 0-0 NACC) returns to action Friday at Northwestern (Minn.). Tip is set for 7:30 p.m.