Both Pioneer squads fall in first round of NCAAs

Photo courtesy of Marietta College Sports Information Marietta College's Kyle Dixon, left, drives on Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Charlie Noone during Friday's NCAA Tournament basketball game at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield, Ohio.

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The Marietta College men’s basketball team met the end of its road Friday at Pam Evans Smith Arena on the campus of Wittenberg.

No. 24 Wisconsin-Oshkosh went on a 20-0 run midway through the second half and then held off a late Pioneers rally to hold on for a 74-67 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Marietta (21-6) went up 50-46 on DeVaughn Wingard’s three-point play at the 11:53 mark in the second half. The Titans (20-7) then scored the game’s next 20 points, with Charlie Noone’s 3-pointer capping the run to make it 66-50 with 7:26 remaining.

“I think we got stops on 14 of 16 possessions,” said Oshkosh head coach Pat Juckem. “During that stretch we were more active and created some turnovers. We took away some of their rhythm shots. When have that many consecutive stops, you get some things in transitions and it helps your offense.”

The Pios went out fighting, going on a 17-2 run of their own to get within 68-67 with 56 seconds left.

However, Oshkosh scored the final six points of the game, four on free throws from Ben Boots, to advance.

“I thought our kids competed really hard,” said Marietta head coach Jon VanderWal. “We just had spurts offensively where we just went cold. Two or three times there was a four or five minute stretch where we couldn’t put the ball through the hoop and they went on some runs.”

“I’ve gained increased respect for their program,” added Juckem of Marietta. “They’re tremendous. We knew we had to play really well.

The Titans outrebounded Marietta, 47-30, in the contest, led by Adam Fravert’s 15 boards. Fravert added 14 points for a double-double.

Oshkosh also held the advantage at the free throw line, sinking 10-of-13 foul shots while Marietta was just 3 for 3 from the stripe.

“Rebounds, free throws and a 20-0 run — it’s hard to survive that,” VanderWal said.

The impressive collegiate career of Marietta College senior Dillon Young came to a close. Young scored 11 points and tallied seven rebounds and seven assists in his final game, the 118th of his career.

Young was a key contributor on four NCAA Tournament qualifying teams and won four Ohio Athletic Conference championships as a Pio.

“This guy’s been a model student-athlete,” VanderWal said of Young. “He had an incredible year. He’s a heck of a player and I consider him a friend.”

Avery Williams led Marietta with 12 points, Caleb Hoyng scored 11 off the bench, Kyle Dixon added 10 while Wingard and Anthony Wallace added nine apiece.

Marietta scored the first seven points of the game. Oshkosh took its first lead at the 7:45 mark in the first half when Brett Wittchow’s trey made it 22-21.Oshkosh stretched its lead to 34-27, but Marietta cut it to 35-34 by halftime on Mike Hall’s buzzer-beating 3.

Fravert and Noone’s 14 points each paced Oshkosh. Boots added 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds while Jack Flynn registered 13 points and eight boards.

The Titans will play the winner of Friday’s late game between Wittenberg and Misericordia.


Marietta woman can’t beat Illinois Wesleyan

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Marietta College women played a hard-fought game, but could best Illinois Wesleyan on the road in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament Friday night.

Molly McGraw poured in a game-high 29 points, while teammate Rebekah Ehresman finished two rebounds short of a double-double with 16 markers in the Titans’ 83-77 victory.

Amish Herd paced the Pioneers with 20 points and 8 assists.

The visiting Pioneers got off to a good start in the first quarter of action. They jumped out to a 6-2 lead right out of the gate on a Herd bucket sandwiched in between two Brooke Borich buckets.

MC’s lead sat at 19-12 after one period of play after Wesleyan’s Kelsey Walsburg connected on a layup with 24 seconds left in the stanza.

The Titans continued to chip into their visitors’ advantage in the second period until McGraw’s trey with 2:56 left until halftime kicked off a 14-2 run for the home team.

The Pioneers got within six a few times in the second half, but never lead again.