FOND dU LAC, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin had a chance to earn an upset victory during Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play on Wednesday, but a late turnover was converted into a layup by Marian University with 2.4 seconds to play inside Sadoff Gymnasium.
CUW took a timeout with 15.1 seconds remaining to draw up a buzzer-beating play, but MU's Josh Creed had other plans as he stole a pass intended for the right wing and went coast-to-coast for the game-winning layup with 2.4 seconds to play. The Falcons desperation heave from half court was off the mark.
If CUW could have pulled off the shocking win, it would have cost MU sole possession of the NACC regular season title. It was the Sabres first outright league title since 1999-2000.
The game was close from start to finish, as there were eight scoring ties and 12 lead changes. Both teams shot well, but the Sabres bench provided a slight edge and was the difference down the stretch.
Over the final four minutes, there were five lead changes and three scoring ties, as field goals were traded. Sophomore Garrett Wenzelburger (Hartland, Wis.) made the second of two free throws with 1:31 to play, knotting the scoreboard at 71-71.
MU missed a 3-pointer and a jumper on its ensuing possession, which included a rejection by Wenzelburger. The Falcons failed to get a shot off after calling a timeout because of a turnover. Creed did have his layup contested before he banked it in.
Wenzelburger led all players with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting and 8-of-14 at the free throw line. He also had career-highs in rebounds (eight), assists (five) and steals (two). Freshman Eric Kittel (Brillion, Wis.) scored 15 points and stole three passes for the Falcons, while sophomore Brett Boettcher (New Holstein, Wis.) added nine points and five rebounds.
MU (19-6, 17-3 NACC) was led by Cody Veleke and Jeff Harris who each had 17 points on a combined 12-of-18 shooting. Creed came off the bench and finished with the game's only double-double, 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 10 rebounds. Drew Binversie also had five points, three rebounds and a game-high seven assists.
CUW (11-14, 9-11 NACC) returns to the court on Saturday for a NACC Tournament quarterfinal matchup at Lakeland College at 7 p.m. inside Woltzen Gymnasium. The Falcons have dropped two games against the Muskies this season by nine and seven points.