Belpre grad Cheyenne Barker helps Pioneers beat John Carroll, 81-65

MC men win at JCU

RON JOHNSTON, The Marietta Times Marietta College’s Bailee Brooks (30) drives on JCU’s Nicole Heffington in OAC women’s basketball action at the BanJo Saturday. MC won 81-65.

MARIETTA — Cheyenne Barker averaged a point a minute off the pine.

The former Belpre High standout scored a career-high13 points to help Marietta College defeat John Carroll University, 81-65, in Ohio Athletic Conference women’s basketball action Saturday at Ban Johnson Arena.

“Cheyenne got into foul trouble in the first half, but she was ready to go in the third quarter,” said MC head coach Kole Vivian. “She was letting it fly. I mean, when we recruited her, we knew she was going to be a special player, and now she’s really showing that.”

Corrie Burkhardt recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pioneers (5-1). Bailee Brooks added 11 markers, while Shay Lett had Marlo Taylor netted 10 apiece.

Lett and Taylor also had six and five assists, respectively.

“We had four starters in double figures, and we’re starting to get some depth here,” Kole said.

Alex Enoch’s, Marietta’s fifth starter and an ex-Fort Frye Cadet, chipped in with eight points and six boards.

John Carroll ( 3-3) was paced by Kahrin Spear’s 13 points. Nicole Heffington was the only other Blue Streak cager to tally double digits with 11.

MC, which trailed for only 23 seconds in the contest, dominated from the get-go. JCU stayed close in the first quarter, but the Pioneer slowly but surely stretched their lead and owned a commanding 44-33 advantage at halftime.

Early in the third quarter, Marietta had a 13-1 run, and led 57-34 at the 4:56 mark. During the surge, Barker scored five points while Taylor and Burkhardt had four apiece.

“The big thing about Cheyenne’s confidence is that she’s earned it,” Vivian said. “She was in the gym all last fall. Before that, she worked her tail off in the summer and last spring. She put the work in, and working as hard as she does, the confidence comes with it.”

MC has won two in a row since dropping a 64-43 decision to No. 9-ranked Trine.

“These last two games have been great for us,” Vivian said. “I mean, we did some really good stuff against Otterbein (75-65) and for us to have just 15 turnovers against John Carroll’s press, that’s really good. We’re starting to come along here.”

MC men remain unbeaten

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS — The No. 21 ranked Marietta College men’s basketball team was 10-for-10 at the free throw line in the final 23 seconds to secure an 82-75 win at John Carroll University Saturday afternoon.

The Pioneers improved to 7-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Marietta snapped a four-game losing streak in University Heights winning for the first time in the DeCarlo Center since January of 2014. John Carroll falls to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the OAC.

“Wow, I couldn’t be prouder of our team right now,” Marietta head coach Jon VanderWal said. “John Carroll is one of the toughest places to win on the road and our guys found a way to get it done. Our backs were against the wall late in the game but we made some huge plays down the stretch.”

Senior Kyle Dixon scored 12 points in the second half and led the Pioneers with 18 points in the game. Senior Anthony Wallace and freshman Lukas Isaly added 10 points each, while senior Mel Shuler chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Tim Kreeger also pulled down seven boards for the Pioneers.

Jimmy Berger was the lone Blue Streak in double figures with 19 points. Connor Fitzgerald and Luke Hippler tallied nine points each, while Greg Parella and Emil Hess added eight points apiece. Hess grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

With five ties and seven lead changes through the first 14 minutes of the game, neither team was able to take control. Karson Snyder drained a three-pointer to put the Pioneers in front, 28-26, with 4:23 left in the first half. Marietta led the rest of the period and a last second three-pointer my Mike Hall put the Pioneers ahead by nine, 40-31, at halftime.

MC pushed the lead to as many as 12 points, 34-46, on a layup from Shuler with 16:40 left in the game. The Blue Streaks gradually got back into the game and tied the score, 56-56, on a layup from Sean Flannery with 7:38 remaining.

A jumper from Berger gave JCU a four-point lead, 63-59, with less than five minutes remaining. But Marietta answered with a 6-0 run getting a layup from Shuler and two from Dixon to retake the lead, 65-63.

A jumper from Wallace gave Marietta a four-point cushion, 72-68, with 52 seconds on the clock. But any hopes of an upset by the Blue Streaks were dashed at the free throw line as Marietta sank its last 12 free throw attempts, including 10 in the final 23 seconds.

Marietta was 27-of-65 (41.5%) from the floor, 7-of-23 (30.4%) behind the arc and 21-of-25 (84.0%) at the line. The Blue Streaks shot 47.0% (31-of-66) from the floor, 25.0% (6-of-24) from three-point range and 50.0% (7-of-14) at the line.

The Pioneers held a slim, 41-39, edge on the glass. Marietta turned the ball over 16 times, while the Blue Streaks committed 14 turnovers.

Marietta returns home to host Baldwin Wallace University next Saturday. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. in Ban Johnson Arena.