College basketball: Marietta College women, men beat Mount Union

Throughout the 2012-13 campaign, the Marietta College women’s basketball team has had trouble putting together two halves.

Often times, the Lady Pioneers have come out and played well for a half, only to see things tail off in the second half.

Wednesday night against Mount Union, this was not the case, as MC was able to put together two halves and then some in an 89-84 overtime win over the previously nationally ranked Purple Raiders.

“This is a program-changing win for us,” said Marietta head coach Stacia Shrider. “The girls are really starting to buy in and believe in our vision and our philosophy of what we’re trying to do. This was a huge win for us.”

The Pioneers exploded offensively, shooting 32-for-61 (52.5 percent) from the floor and held Mount Union to just 30-of-76 (39.5 percent). Marietta also held a big advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Purple Raiders 46-33.

Tori Dixon led the Pios with 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Dixon hit a game-high six 3-pointers.

“My teammates set me really good screens,” Dixon said. “I just got open coming off them. I tried to read them better than I did the last time we played them.”

Four other Lady Pioneers hit double figures, as Candice Alexander scored 15, Heather Booth and Krissy Rowe had 14 and Paige Lamb added 11.

“We’re starting to peak at the right time,” Shrider said. “This is where we want to peak, towards the end of the season and be firing on cylinders. This is definitely what we want.”

Mount Union was led by Rosa LaMattina’s game-high 28 points. Tierney Allen chipped in with 14 and Annie Bova contributed 13.

With 13:25 left in the first half, a layup by Dixon gave the Pios a 16-11 lead, its largest of the half.

The Raiders then went on a 12-2 run, capped by a Aly Daniel layup, to give themselves a five point advantage. Dixon quickly countered with a 3-pointer to cut it to 23-21.

Later, with the score knotted at 25-25, Rowe drained a 3-pointer to reclaim the lead for Marietta. Back-to-back buckets by Allen and then later a 3-pointer by Amanda Turner would give Mount the lead back at 32-30.

The squads would trade buckets back and forth until LaMattina scored four straight points to end the half with MU up 38-35.

Marietta came out firing in a big way in the second half. Rowe, Alexander, Lamb and Dixon all hit 3-pointers in the first 2:45 of the half to go up 49-45.

The Purple Raiders would not go away as, later, a LaMattina 3-ball cut it to 52-50.

Fresh off the bench, Emily Jones came in to score five straight points for the Pios, followed by a pair of free throws from Rowe and a 3-pointer from Dixon to put Marietta up 59-55.

It looked like Mount Union might start to take over with nine minutes to go, as Bova hit consecutive buckets to put Marietta in a 66-61 hole.

However, jumpers by Booth and Jones brought it back to a one-point game before Maggie Miller and Lamb traded 3-point baskets to make it 69-68.

Trailing 76-73 with 3:53 remaining, Alexander put in back-to-back layups to give Marietta a 77-76 lead. About a minute later, LaMattina responded by converting a four-point play to put Mount Union up three with 2:31 left in the game.

Dixon showed no fear, tying the game at 80-all on a trey with just over a minute left in the game. Neither team could put one through the hoop in the final minute of regulation, sending the game to overtime.

In OT, Alexander opened things up with a bucket to give Marietta the lead. On Mount’s ensuing possession, Marybeth Leitch was fouled by Alexander and sank both foul shots to tie things up. The foul was Alexander’s fifth, knocking her out of the game.

Lamb then came up with a big offensive rebound on Marietta’s next possession and was fouled on the putback attempt. She hit both free throws to give MC an 84-82 lead, which held up until 1:10 remaining in overtime when Leitch hit a jumper to tie the game yet again.

Coming out of a timeout with 46 seconds left in the game, Dixon found Booth underneath the basket and Booth promptly converted the layup to give Marietta the lead for good. Rowe and Dixon would tack on foul shots to seal the deal and clinch the upset for Marietta.

Overall, the score was tied 19 times and there were 16 lead changes in the game. Both teams scored 28 points in the paint. Mount Union scored 22 points off turnovers to just eight for Marietta, but the Pioneers doubled up Mount Union with 16 second chance points.

“I felt like we just played really good together today,” Dixon said. “It was awesome. We had a lot of energy. All five starters came out and played really well on the offensive end. We had our post players rebounding. Just a lot going on that was awesome.”

With the win, Marietta clinched at least the seventh seed in the OAC Tournament and also knocked Mount Union down to no higher than a 3-seed.

Up next for the Pios is another home game against John Carroll Saturday at Ban Johnson Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Men

Marietta College 93, Mount Union 81

ALLIANCE – Tyler Hammond tied his career-high with 23 points to lead Marietta College over the University of Mount Union 93-81 Wednesday night. The Pioneers (18-6 overall, 14-3 OAC) poured in 56 second half points in the come from behind victory.

Mount Union (12-13 overall, 9-8 OAC) scorched the nets in the first half shooting 70 percent from the floor. Nate Jacubec scored 14 of his team-high 15 points in the opening period as the Purple Raiders led 43-37 at halftime.

The Purple Raiders maintained their lead through the first 10 minutes of the second half. J.J. Martin hit a jumper with 9:20 left in the game to give the Pioneers the lead, 61-60.

Marietta blew the game wide open with a 21-2 run pushing its lead to 13 points, 73-60, with 6:38 remaining. The Pioneers would push the margin to as many as 20 points, 93-73, with under a minute on the clock.

Hammond finished the night 7-of-10 from the floor and 9-of-11 at the free throw line for 23 points. Martin scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Jacob Owens chipped in with 13 points, while Jason Humphrey recorded his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Jacubec and Jarrett Ruffin led Mount Union with 15 points each. Cody Dillon added 13 points and Matt Kiger had a team-high seven rebounds.