SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – The Spring Arbor University men’s basketball team rebounded from a setback against Taylor University over the weekend and took down its second Top 25 ranked team of the season on Tuesday night, defeating No. 8 Marian University 67-65 inside the McDonald Athletic Center.
The win was the fourth straight for Spring Arbor over Marian, and the eighth in the last nine meetings.
The Cougars held the Knights, who entered the contest ranked among the NAIA leaders in most offensive categories, to a season-low 65 points. Payton DeWildt led the way for SAU with a game-high 18 points while Paul Marandet added 11 points and seven assists.
FINAL SCORE: No. 15 Spring Arbor 67, No. 8 Marian 65
LOCATION: McDonald Athletic Center | Spring Arbor, Mich.
RECORDS: Spring Arbor 11-6 (2-3 CL), Marian 12-4 (3-2 CL)
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Spring Arbor opened the game on a 10-2 run and would never trail in the first half. A bucket by DeWildt at the 2:01 mark of the period gave the Cougars their largest lead of the night, 31-20.
- Marian closed the gap to four before halftime, however, outscoring SAU 9-2 over the final two minutes making it a 33-29 game heading into the locker room.
- The Knights grabbed their first lead of the game, 48-45, midway through the second half with a quick 6-0 scoring spurt, but Connor Cottingham shifted the momentum with a big three-pointer.
- With the score tied 57-57, back-to-back baskets by DeWildt and Brandon Durnell gave the Cougars the lead for good.
- Spring Arbor led by four in the closings seconds, but a bucket by Marian’s Christian Stewart trimmed the margin to two with nine ticks left on the clock. The door was left open following a pair of missed free throw attempts by SAU, but the Knights were unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer.
FOR THE COUGARS
- DeWildt went 7-for-10 from the field on his way to a game-high 18 points.
- Marandet posted 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Durnell continues to close in on 1,000 career points, finishing with 10 and giving him 990 for his career.
- Spring Arbor shot 52 percent (25-for-48) from the field and went 12-for-15 from the free throw line.
FOR THE KNIGHTS
- Five Marian players reached double-digits in scoring, led by Christian Stewart’s 15 points.
- Marian – the No. 1 ranked team in the NAIA in field goal percentage – was held to 44 percent (24-for-54) shooting. The Knights, who also rank first in 3-point field goal percentage, were just 5-for-15 from behind the arc.
Spring Arbor hosts another top-10 opponent on Saturday, Jan. 11 when No. 2 ranked Indiana Wesleyan University (14-3, 4-1 CL) comes to town. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.