Double dip: Marietta College women, men fall to Mount Union
A year ago, nationally-ranked Mount Union came in to Ban Johnson Arena and suffered a shocking 89-84 overtime loss to the Marietta College Lady Pioneers.
The Purple Raiders returned to Ban Johnson Wednesday night and made sure history did not repeat itself as they defeated MC 71-60, snapping an 8-game home winning streak for the Pioneers.
“I don’t think our mental focus was there when the game started,” said Marietta head coach Stacia Shrider. “We started looking at records and started to compare, team-to-team, and we can never do that in this conference. It’s too tough.”
Marietta trailed just 28-26 with 3 minutes, 10 seconds left in the first half, but the Purple Raiders used a 9-3 run to go up 37-29 at halftime. They stayed aggressive in the second half, extending the lead to 50-37 at the 14:03 mark and stretching it to 58-38 with 11:40 to go.
The Lady Pios came charging back, scoring 10 unanswered points from the 9:41 mark to the 4:17 mark to cut it to 60-50.
Later, a pair of Jessica Brogan free throws made it an 8-point game, but Mount Union answered every Marietta basket the rest of the way to secure the W.
Candice Alexander topped everyone with 24 points on 10-of-16 from the floor. Heather Booth added 12 but no other Pioneer was able to get going, including Tori Dixon who was held to seven points on 1-of-9 shooting.
“They pressured us in the full court, so once we got into the half-court we just had a hard time getting the ball inside the 3-point line and getting post touches,” Shrider said. “We didn’t handle the pressure very well tonight and it really frazzled us once we got into the half-court.”
Chandler Moore and Annie Bova each scored 14 to lead the Purple Raiders.
Overall, Mount Union was 24-for-60 (40 percent) from the floor while Marietta was 19-for-55 (34.5 percent) overall and just 2-of-12 (16.7 percent) from beyond the arch.
MC was unable to capitalize on some favorable opportunities which hurt its cause.
“We missed a lot of easy shots that we needed to convert on,” Shrider said.
“We turned it over in crucial parts of the game.”
A jumper by Alexander and two free throws by Paige Lamb put Marietta up 4-3 early in the contest. Moore put the Raiders back on top with a 3, but Dixon answered with her only triple of the game to put the Pios up 7-6.
With the score tied at 17-all with eight minutes remaining in the half, Robyn Brown nailed a mid-range jumper followed by a 3-pointer to make the score 22-17. Later, a 3-point play by Morgan Liedtke cut it to a 2-point game, but Katie Reed responded by making 2-of-2 at the line. Back-to-back buckets by Alexander kept Marietta within two, but Olivia Holt and Moore each nailed 3s to put Mount Union up 35-26.
A foul shot by Dixon followed by two more from Liedtke made it a 6-point game, but Colleen Kennehan made two of her own at the line to give the Raiders an 8-point cushion at halftime.
After Mount Union pulled ahead by 20, Marietta scratched and clawed to get back in the game.
Booth and Alexander each made baskets to make it 60-44, and the defense was able to hold Mount Union scoreless over the next three minutes before Emily Sabatino knocked down a trey to cut the lead to 13. Alexander then poured in three straight points to make it a 10-point game with 4:17 remaining.
However, the Raiders began to find the bottom of the net again, as Sarah Grippi made consecutive buckets followed by a layup from Moore and a 3-pointer by Bova to go back up 13 with just over a minute left
“I’m just very disappointed in our defensive effort and lack of focus tonight,” Shrider said.
“We’ve got to have a lot more pride on defense and a lot more focus on the offensive end.”
The Lady Pioneers will try to bounce back Saturday when they host OAC leader John Carroll at 3 p.m.
“We can’t dwell on this much longer,” Shrider said. “Just have to move on and prepare for the next opponent.”
Mount Union 73, Marietta
ALLIANCE – In a rematch of last year’s Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Championship, the University of Mount Union managed a measure of revenge as the Purple Raiders defeated Marietta College 73-72 Wednesday night.
Mount Union took control of the OAC standings with a 6-0 league mark. The Purple Raiders improved to 11-2 overall. Marietta fell to 10-4 on the season and 5-2 in the OAC.
Marietta jumped in front early and led by 10, 28-18, with 7:43 left in the first half. But, Mount Union finished the period on a 16-4 run to lead 34-32 at the half.
The Purple Raiders opened the second half with a 19-9 run to push their lead to 53-41 with 10:57 left in the game. Mount Union still led by 10 points, 60-50, at the 6:22 mark when the Pioneers made a final push. Marietta put together a 17-7 run to knot the game at 67 with 1:10 left on the clock.
A three-pointer from Cody Dillon put the Raiders back in front, but a foul sent Marietta’s Luis Garcia to the line where he sank both free throws with 41 seconds remaining.
Following a Marietta timeout with 21 seconds left, the Pioneers were forced to foul. Dillon made two free throws extending the lead to three, 72-69.
Garrett Stephenson drained a three-pointer to tie the game with 13 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, TJ Gillespie drove the lane and drew a foul with 0.8 seconds left in the game. Gillespie hit the first free throw and intentionally missed the second to end the game.
Andy Dollman scored 16 points off the bench to lead the Pioneers. Stephenson finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Garcia chipped in with 11 points, while RaNeal Ewing added 10.
Gillespie led all scorers with 21 points. Dillon scored 15 points, while Jimmy Darnley grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.
Marietta travels to John Carroll University Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip.