Sabre men's basketball falls in overtime after second half come back

Tyrese Pinson pulls up for a jumper.

FOND DU LAC - Marian University men's basketball (2-7, 1-5 NACC) erased a nine-point deficit in the second half to force overtime where the Sabres would fall 72-67 to Martin Luther.

Both offenses struggled to open the game leading to a 22-22 tally with 2:56 left in the first half.  Martin Luther managed to pull away at the end of the half scoring six unanswered points to take a 28-22 lead into halftime.  

The Knights maintained this lead to open the second half and eventually led by as much as nine at 38-29 with 14:01 left in regulation.  The Sabres continually chipped away at the Martin Luther lead until a quick spurt of six unanswered points from Marian gave the Sabres their first lead of the half at 51-50 with 3:40 left to play in regulation.

The Sabres pulled ahead by as much as four heading into the final minute but a layup from the Knights with 31 seconds remaining was enough to force overtime.

In the extra period, the two squads traded baskets to open before an 8-0 stretch gave Martin Luther a 69-62 lead with 1:42 left to play.  The Sabres cut the deficit down to as little as four but couldn't complete the rally leading to the 72-67 final.

The Marian defense was able to force 15 turnovers in the defeat which translated into 18 points.

Sophomore Tavaris McCullough recorded a game-high 21 points, while fellow sophomore Tristan Van Ess had 14 points with seven boards.  Senior Tyrese Pinson finished in double-figures with 12 points to go with six steals.

Marian opens the Daytona Beach Shootout against Dubuque Wednesday, December 19 at 4 p.m. (CST).