Pioneers to host Berg Saturday

All head coach Jon VanderWal has to do is remind his Marietta College men’s cagers of the Otterbein fiasco when they host Heidelberg University at 3 p.m. Saturday.

MC (15-5 overall, 11-2 Ohio Athletic Conference) had routed the Cardinals (7-13, 4-9), 90-62, earlier in the season only to get beat by them in the return engagement 72-62 on Jan. 23. The Pioneers also defeated the Student Princes (9-11, 4-9), 75-63, in the first meeting on Dec. 15.

First-place Marietta needs another win against The Berg to keep pace with Capital University (14-6, 11-2), which shares the top spot with the navy blue and white in the OAC.

The Crusaders are scheduled to entertain John Carroll University (10-9, 7-6) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

After Heidelberg, Marietta is slated to close out the home portion of its regular-season schedule with games against Capital and Baldwin-Wallace, respectively.

“We’ve got to find a way to get all of these home games,” said VanderWal after the Pioneers drilled Muskingum University 98-67 on Wednesday. “We’re tied for first place (with Capital) with five to go, so we’ve got to win them all.”

Against Heidelberg, MC is expected to start leading scorer J.J. Martin, Tyler Hammond, Jacob Owens, Scott Kimmey, and Jason Humphrey. The Student Princes will probably counter with Dane Givner, Mike Petrie, Ishaam Smith Jr., Jackson Blue, and Nate Davis, who recently achieved the 1,000-point career milestone.

VanderWal has often said that Heidelberg is talented and very athletic. The Pioneers cannot take The Berg lightly.

As a part of Winter Weekend, the Stacie Shrider-coached Marietta College women (6-14, 1-12) will tip off play at Ban Johnson Arena with a 1 p.m. Saturday contest against Heidelberg (5-15, 1-12).

The Lady Pioneers, who are hoping to halt an eight-game slide, were beaten by Heidelberg, 75-61, in Tiffin in the first meeting on Dec. 15.

MC is expected to start Paige Lamb. Krissy Rowe, Tori Dixon, Candice Alexander, and Lindsay Deemer.

Heidelberg will probably go with Megan Miller, Jordan Ickes, Emily Giel, Paige Ricketts, and Kathleen Phillips.