2009
Champions! Benedictine wins NAC South title

Champions! Benedictine wins NAC South title
February 17, 2009

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

The Benedictine University men’s basketball team rode a 29-point effort by senior Jared Bailey (Argo, Ill./Argo Community H.S.) to a 74-71 victory over Aurora University and, with it, the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) South Division championship. The win improved the Eagles overall record to 17-7 and 12-4 in the NAC, as the team rolled up its eighth-straight victory. It seemed only fitting that Benedictine battle long-time nemesis Aurora for its first championship as a member of the three-year old NAC and first since it claimed the crown in the now-defunct Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference in 2000-01. It is the 14th league championship in the history of the Eagles’ program. Bailey’s big game included an 8-for-14 effort from the field, as well as connecting on 12-of-14 free throws. He also snagged seven rebounds and had a game-leading five assists. Sophomore Cameron Snelling (So. Holland, Ill./Thornwood H.S.) was the only other BU player to score in double figures by tallying 13 points. Snelling pulled down a team high eight rebounds and also had a pair of blocked shots. Reserve guards Michael Fahey (Huntley, Ill./St. Patrick H.S.) and Patrick Noonan (Crystal Lake, Ill./Marian Central Catholic H.S.) each contributed eight points. Freshman Nate Green (Chicago, Ill./Thornwood H.S.) had six rebounds, four assists and four points. In a game that featured nine ties and six lead changes, the host Eagles had to overcome an eight point deficit (63-55) with 7:50 remaining in the game. Benedictine would go on a 15-4 run over the next five minutes and took the lead for good at the 2:46 juncture when Dan Klecan canned a three-pointer to put his team up 70-67. The trey was the only basket for Klecan – a starting forward - of the entire evening. Klecan did manage to grab seven rebounds. The Eagles will host NAC North Division top-seed Edgewood College this Saturday (Feb. 21/4:15 p.m.) in the “NAC Challenge,” where the corresponding finishers in the league’s two divisions square off for one game. At stake for BU and Edgewood will be the No. 1 seed for the NAC postseason tournament beginning February 21. The NAC tournament winner receives the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national championship tournament.

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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.