2009
Men's basketball wins NAC tourney opener; Aurora next!

Men's basketball wins NAC tourney opener; Aurora next!
February 25, 2009

Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
(630) 829-6143
dbeyer@ben.edu

Top-seeded Benedictine University built a big second half lead versus No. 8-seed Marian University and then withstood a late rally for the 71-64 win in the opening round of the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) Tournament. The win improved the Eagles' record to 19-7 and was the squad's 10th-straight win. The victory also earned Benedictine another matchup versus longtime rival Aurora University, the No. 5-seed, in the NAC tourney semifinals on Friday evening (7:00 p.m.) at the Rice Center. Benedictine has defeated the Spartans in both previous meetings this season (83-76 at AU and 74-71 in Lisle last Tuesday). Marian gave the Eagles all they could handle in the first half of play, as BU held a slim 26-24 halftime advantage. A 15-4 run over the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second period opened up a 13-point Benedictine cushion. That swelled to 20 points with 4:48 remaining in the game. But proving why no lead is ever safe - especially with the three-point shot as a part of the game - the Sabres clawed back. In the final 2:12 of the game alone, Marian drained five of its nine treys made and cut the Eagles' advantage to an uncomfortable six points (70-64) with 15 seconds remaining, but could get no closer. Benedictine was led in scoring by senior Jared Bailey's 23 points. Bailey also grabbed six rebounds and shared high assist honors with four. Sophomore Cameron Snelling had another huge game with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds. Snelling hit 7-of-11 shots, including 3-of-6 from three-point range. Dan Klecan added 11 points - along with eight rebounds - as the third Eagles' player in double figures.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.