Marian grinds out win in first round of NACC tournament

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Junior Josh Creed scored 16 points and hauled in 10 rebounds as the No. 5 seeded Marian men's basketball team topped No. 4 Wisconsin Lutheran 71-65 in the first round of the 2015-16 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.

WLC made a late charge to cut the deficit to three points, but Creed who has been a clutch free-throw shooter all year went to the line and hit his free throws in the final minute to secure the win.

MU started fast and lead throughout the contest. Senior Carvell Oliver hit three 3-pointers in the initial five minutes and the Sabres opened up a 22-8 first-half lead.

The Blue and White defense kept the Warriors off balance. WLC, known for their exceptional play in the post struggled to find space in front of the basket and were forced to shoot jump shots – and they didn't fall. WLC shot 29.7 percent (19-of-64) from the field and converted only three 3-pointers on the evening.

From start to finish the Sabres ran a balanced offensive attack and had their way in front of the rim. MU scored 42 points in the paint and outrebounded WLC 42-38 and shot 45.9 percent (28-of-61) from the field.

Sophomore Alex Manhardt, senior Alex Stecker and Oliver each scored 12 points. Oliver and Manhardt also grabbed nine rebounds apiece.

Sophomore Reggie Roemer scored nine points and handed out five assists.

Collin Kennedy scored 19 points to lead WLC (13-13).

MU (14-12) travels to No. 1 seed and nationally-ranked Benedictine (25-0) Friday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m.