College women’s basketball: MC women lose 7th straight

The Marietta College Lady Pioneers dropped their seventh straight contest Saturday, falling 61-44 to No. 8 Ohio Northern in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup at Ban Johnson Arena.

Both teams struggled offensively in the game. Ohio Northern made 21-of-56 (37.5 percent) shots while the Lady Pios were 17-for-58 (29.3 percent) from the floor.

“We knew coming in to this game that this would be a tough matchup for us,” said Marietta head coach Stacia Shrider. “Northern executes very well and they have a lot of big players. But I’m very proud of our girls with our effort and sticking to our gameplan.”

Marietta, now 6-13 overall and 1-11 in the OAC, gave the Lady Polar Bears (18-1 overall and 12-0 in the OAC) all they could handle out of the gate. Five points from Krissy Rowe and buckets from Paige Lamb and Candice Alexander helped MC jump out to a 9-3 lead.

Northern’s Joanna Snyder scored six straight points to tie the game before a 3-pointer by Tori Dixon gave Marietta a 12-9 advantage.

Katie Mengos then scored consecutive baskets for the Polar Bears to put them on top 13-12. A pair of free throws by Lindsay Deemer gave the lead right back to Marietta.

The two teams would trade the lead for the final time when Morgan Dumbaugh hit two foul shots before an Alexander bucket. ONU’s Brooke Espenschied hit a 3-pointer to give Northern the lead for good at 18-16 with 9:45 remaining in the first half. The Polar Bears then scored nine straight points before a jumper by Rowe made it 27-18.

Another 3-pointer by Espenschied made it 32-22, but buckets by Alexander and Dixon cut it to 32-26 to give MC a little momentum going into halftime.

Four-and-a-half minutes into the second half, Rowe converted a three-point play to make it 35-30 before a 6-0 run by Ohio Northern made it an 11-point game. A layup by Tasha Helmstetter momentarily stopped the bleeding before ONU went on an 8-0 run to stretch the lead to 49-32.

With 7:20 remaining in the game, Lamb drained a 3-ball off an assist from Rowe to make it 52-38. That was as close as Marietta would get, as the Polar Bears showed down the stretch why they are a top ten team.

Northern’s Cenzie Yoder had a game-high 13 points, while Dumbaugh contributed 10. Snyder paced the Polar Bears with 10 rebounds.

The Lady Pios were led in scoring by Rowe and Alexander, who each had 11 points. Deemer topped everyone with 11 boards in the game.

Marietta managed to out-rebound the Polar Bears 45-37, but ONU held the edge in turnovers 19-11.

“We slowed them down a little bit and did a phenomenal job rebounding so I’m very proud of how we competed,” Shrider said. “Obviously I’m not satisfied with the outcome of the game but I think we’re progressing at the right time of the season.”

Marietta will look to rebound Wednesday at Muskingum.

“I think today was a turning point for us,” Shrider said. “And now is when we want to start playing better basketball towards the end of the season going into the OAC tournament.”