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Men’s basketball: Aurora crushes Maranatha Baptist

Updated: February 9, 2013 10:49PM

Seniors could not ask for a better send off.

Aurora University’s four seniors — Mike Bumber, Esteban Vega, Mark Adams, Joel Iventosch — went out in a blaze of glory before an appreciative home crowd Saturday afternoon at Thornton Gym.

All had hands in a 108-52 carving of Maranatha Baptist in what was a non-game from the start.

That, of course, hardly mattered to the seniors.

“We look forward to every game but it’s especially awesome at home — there’s some magic in there,” Bumber said.

The magic Saturday belonged to the seniors.

Bumber scored a game-high 18 points and dealt out six assists in 17 minutes of court time. Vega wasn’t far behind with 17 points and five assists in 19 minutes. Adams played 19 minutes but had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Iventosch hit two of AU’s 15 three-point baskets.

No Spartan played more than 19 minutes but depth has been a strength for AU all year long. The Spartans are so deep that head coach James Lancaster had preseason concerns about spreading the playing time around.

It hasn’t been an issue.

“It’s a team. We don’t really care who scores as long as the Spartans score,” Bumber said. “We want to make it as far as we can and win as many games as we can.”

There is an added plus. Lancaster rotates his starters with the second team early and often. All 16 players in uniform saw playing time in the first half alone Saturday.

“As a team, no one plays over 22 minutes a game,” Bumber said. “That means we can play as hard as possible, and when our rotation is up we can rest.”

It has definitely worked. The Spartans are one win (Wednesday at Dominican) away from clinching the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage throughout the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament, and they are on a roll at the right time of the year.

The romp over Maranatha improved AU to 18-6 overall (13-2 NAC). Since losing their first three games of the year, the Spartans are a nasty 18-3. The seniors have been a key to that success.

“We knew today was for the seniors (because) they’ve meant so much to our program over their careers,” Lancaster said. “Our guys wanted them to go out in style.”

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