FOND DU LAC, Wisconsin – The MSOE men's basketball team led by as many as nine in the second half but could not hold on in suffering its first league defeat of the season 64-57 against Marian at Sadoff Gym.
The Raiders (2-2, 2-1 NACC) led 43-34 with 9:31 remaining in regulation before the Sabres (1-4, 1-1 NACC) battled back to overtake them.
Sophomore Matthew Kirmse knocked down four 3-points for the second-straight game, and third time in four games this season, to score a team-high 15 points. Junior Jason Palesse tallied nine points, four assists, and three steals.
Alex Manhardt had a game-high 17 points and 18 rebounds for Marian. Taylor Rahn added 11 points off the bench.
MSOE led 28-24 at halftime and still held a three-point advantage at 35-32 at the 12:32 mark before pulling away. Back-to-back buckets kick-started an 8-2 run for a game-high nine-point advantage on a pair of free throws by senior Nolan Henton.
The Sabres quickly pulled within two points and then later tied the game at 48-48. Kirmse answered with a three-pointer just seconds later, but the Raiders could not shake Marian. After several ties, the home team took the lead at 55-54 on a pair of Manhardt free throws with just under two minutes remaining.
The Red & White was limited to just one free throw down the stretch as MU was able to clinch the game.
MSOE shot 36.7 percent from the field, including 6-for-16 from three-point range. The Sabres finished at 40 percent shooting with five 3-pointers on 15 attempts. They also held a 41-32 rebounding advantage.
The Raiders return to the floor Saturday at Lakeland.