Eagles knock off NAC leader Aurora, 83-76

Eagles knock off NAC leader Aurora, 83-76
January 22, 2009

Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
(630) 829-6143

The tradition-rich athletics rivalry between Benedictine University and Aurora University added another epic chapter on Thursday evening. The visiting Eagles overcame a six-point halftime deficit to earn an 83-76 victory in knocking off the league-leading Spartans on their own home floor. Benedictine improved to 10-7 overall and 5-4 in the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) - moving into third place in the South Division - by virtue of the win. Aurora fell to 8-9 overall and 6-3 in the NAC, falling into second place in the South. Benedictine accomplished the win thanks to a balanced scoring attack, as well as overcoming several hurdles during the game. In all, five Eagles' players tallied in double-digit scoring. BU found itself behind the eight ball before the game even started as reserve guard Michael Fahey was unable to play due to injury. Then, early in the second half, junior Dan Klecan injured a finger and was unable to return. Despite the injury, Klecan still ended up as the Eagles' leading scorer with 16 points in just 28 minutes of play. Klecan was 6-of-11 from the field. Aurora was able to pull out to a first half lead, 38-32, after forcing BU into nine turnovers in the segment. The Spartans' defensive scheme also held Benedictine's leading scorer - senior all-conference guard Jared Bailey - scoreless in that first half. However, keeping Bailey quiet for the entire game proved an impossible task for AU as the Eagles' floor leader helped engineer his team's big second half turnaround. Bailey would finish the game with 14 points and a game-leading 10 rebounds, along with five assists. He was an efficient 5-of-9 from the field. Sophomores Cameron Snelling and A.J. Brown had identical totals of 12 points, eight rebounds and one steal apiece. Senior Travis Wilson came off the Benedictine bench to tally 10 points as the fifth double figure scorer for the Eagles. Bench play proved to be the key factor, as the Spartans received zero points from their substitutes. Conversely, BU head coach Keith Bunkenburg's reserves added 22 points to the Eagles' coffers. With his 14 points, Bailey also moved closer to the 1,000 career points plateau. He now has 982 career points and will try to reach the millennium mark next Wednesday at home as the Eagles host current NAC South leader Milwaukee School of Engineering.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.