College basketball: MC men ousted

CARLISLE, Pa. – The Marietta College men’s basketball team ran out of magic.

The Pios were never able to find their stroke, while Dickinson College shot a blistering 58 percent (30-for-52) from the floor in an 80-65 victory in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at Dickinson Saturday.

Dickinson’s Adam Honig was unconscious, shooting 12-for-15, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc, to lead everyone with 32 points. Gerry Wixted added 20 for the Red Devils. Wixted and Honig each grabbed eight rebounds as well to lead Dickinson, which never trailed in the contest.

“You’ve got to give credit to Dickinson,” said Marietta head coach Jon VanderWal. “They played unbelievable tonight.

“They clearly just played a lot better than we did tonight.”

Just over a minute into the first half, a layup by senior Jason Humphrey cut the Pioneer deficit to 5-4, but that was as close as MC would get in the game, as Dickinson used a 17-5 run to take a 22-9 lead with 14:13 left in the half.

“I think the biggest difference in the game was the first seven, eight minutes when they just started off in a frenzy,” VanderWal said. “You look at the second half, we lose the second half by one. We just couldn’t get over that hump and really make a push and make a run.”

A 3-pointer by sophomore Garrett Stephenson cut it to a 10-point game, but Dickinson’s Brandon Angradi came off the bench and hit back-to-back treys to quickly put the momentum back in the Red Devils’ favor.

Marietta scored 14 of the next 22 points get back within 10, led by five points from junior Tyler Hammond and a 3-pointer from senior Jacob Owens, but Dickinson would get a dunk from Chris Cox and a jumper by Wixted to go into halftime up 40-26.

The Pioneers had seen halftime deficits like this before. Marietta trailed 40-25 in the OAC Tournament Championship against Mount Union, only to rally in the second half and overtime for the win.

The large Marietta College student section still had hope for a comeback, but the Pioneers never got closer than within 14 points, as Dickinson shot 15-for-25 (60 percent) in the second half to maintain the momentum and the lead.

“We just talked about, if we get in that situation, we have to keep guarding,” said Dickinson head coach Alan Seretti of Marietta’s comeback ability. “They play off of Owens and they play off of Martin. They have such great energy and great heart, that you can’t let them get going.”

Owens led Marietta with 15 points, while Stephenson (13), Hammond (12) and senior J.J. Martin (11) each were double figures. Martin and Stephenson each grabbed eight rebounds, while Hammond had a game-high five assists.

From the floor, the Pioneers were 21-for-57 (38 percent) in the game and 9-for-26 (35 percent) from long distance.

Dickinson improved to 21-7 with the victory, while Marietta ended its season at 20-8.

The Red Devils will advance to the second round, where they will travel to play the College of Wooster.

For Marietta, it was the final collegiate basketball game for seniors, Owens, Martin, Humphrey, Tyler Worstell and Scott Kimmey.

“Our five seniors have a lot to be proud of,” VanderWal said. “They’re going to have a lot of fond memories of their four years. They graduate as the all-time winningest class in school history. Them, along with our juniors, are the only classes in school history that have been to two NCAA tournaments. Those guys have been a huge, huge part of us turning this program around to the point where we’re a national contender. They have a lot to be proud of.”