Oliver, Sabres shoot their way to win over Spartans

Oliver, Sabres shoot their way to win over Spartans

AURORA, Ill. – Marian had four student-athletes score in double figures as the Sabres topped Aurora 98-96 Wednesday evening in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference action played at Thornton Gymnasium.

With a total of 15 lead changes and six ties, the end result wouldn't be decided until the final minutes.

With the Sabres trailing 90-89, Carvell Oliver put the game on his back. The 6-foot guard drilled the go-ahead 3 pointer at the 1:55 mark and scored the Sabres' next nine points – including going 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the final 20 seconds to secure the win.

Aurora entered halftime with a 47-45 lead and two minutes into the second half expanded its advantage to 52-47. However, the Sabres' offense awoke. Over the ensuing 10 minutes MU went on a 31-15 run and led 78-67 with eight minutes remaining in the second half.

The Spartans (5-1, 3-1 NACC) clawed their way back into the game and momentarily took a lead before Oliver's late heroics.

Oliver scored a game-high 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 5-of-6 from the 3-point line.

Alex Stecker dropped 19 points and handed out six assists. Josh Creed helped out with 18 points and Montrell Hobbs chipped in 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

MU had its best shooting night of the season and connected on 57 percent (36-of-63) of its shots from the floor, including a sizzling 68 percent (11-of-16) from beyond the arc. As a team the Sabres scored 36 points in the paint and hauled in 35 rebounds.

The Sabres (4-4, 1-3 NACC) return to the hardwood Saturday and play host to Rockford.