SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – For the third-straight season, the Marian men’s basketball team is headed to the NAIA Sweet 16 after defeating seventh-seeded Keiser 71-60 Wednesday evening in the NAIA Tournament Round of 32 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Marian is 25-7 overall with the win.
From the jump Christian Harvey had his fingerprints on the game, scoring 10 of Marian’s first 14 points in just over five minutes of game time. Harvey hit two 3-pointers during the stretch, grabbed a rebound and had a steal. It helped the Knights to a 14-6 lead with 14:19 to play in the half. By the 12:03 mark Cameron Wolter finished at the rim to put Marian up 10 and the Knights would lead by double digits for almost the rest of the half.
Neither team shot the ball well from the field, but Marian still managed to stretch its lead to 16 late in the half. Keiser was able to work it back down to 12 by the halftime buzzer and Marian took a 37-25 lead to the locker room. Harvey scored 16 points in the half to lead all scorers, while Wolter chipped in with five.
Early in teh second half, Keiser worked the Marian lead down to eight with 17:53 to play, but a 3-pointer from Hayden Langkabel pushed the advantage back to double digits. Langkabel’s three would be the final bucket for either team for the next three minutes, and it wasn’t until four minutes later that Luke Gohmann snapped the Marian drought. While Marian went cold, Keiser fought back to pull within seven with 13 minutes to play.
Again though, Marian found a way to keep Keiser at an arm’s length. Nick Rogers converted a pair of free throws and Gohmann buried a three, which was part of a larger 8-1 run for the Knights. Wolter then went to work, scoring seven points in a three minute span to put Marian up 16 with six minutes to play. Keiser would not come closer than 13 the rest of the way until a last second basket made the final score 71-60 in favor of Marian.
The Knights finished 39 percent from the field and made 8-of-19 3-pointers, while hitting 21-of-30 free throws. Keiser shot 41 percent from the field and was just 1-for-13 from three and 11-of-23 from the charity stripe. Marian edged the Seahawks in rebounding, 40-39. Wolter was his usual efficient self, shooting 6-of-9 from the field and 9-of-11 from the line for 21 points and seven rebounds. Harvey finished with 16 points and five rebounds. Rogers added nine and Gohman chipped in with seven points and nine boards. Christian Stewart finished with eight points, three rebounds and five assists.
With the win, Marian advances to Friday’s round of 16 against the winner of Antelope Valley and Washington Adventist. Tipoff is set for 1:45 p.m. CT.