MC women drop 85-79 decision to Berg

As well as the Marietta College women’s basketball team played after the break, the outcome might have been different had there been a couple of more minutes left on the clock.

The Stacia Shrider-coached Lady Pioneers basically ran out of time in their come-from-behind effort and dropped an 85-79 decision to Morgan Shriver-led Heidelberg University in an Ohio Athletic Conference and Winter Weekend game at Ban Johnson Arena Saturday.

“We definitely came back in the second half,” said MC junior forward and former Frontier standout Heather Booth. “We outworked them and came together as a team.

“Turns out, though, it was too little, too late.”

Marietta outpointed Heidelberg 53-42 in the second half, but it was not enough to recover from a 43-26 halftime deficit. HU, which also beat MC 78-69 in Tiffin on Dec. 14, 2013, halted a seven-game slide.

“We’ve just got to put two halves together,” Booth continued. “We’ll definitely learn from this game.”

Candice Alexander and Booth scored 23 and 18 points, respectively, to pace the Lady Pioneers, who fell 10-11 overall and 4-10 in the OAC. They are grabbed a team-high nine rebounds apiece.

Non-starter Jessica Brogan added 15 points, and 1,000-point career scorer Tori Dixon had 12.

The Berg ( 11-10, 4-10) was led by Kathleen Phillips, who tallied a team-high 21 points. Jackie Albrecht chipped in with 11, and Paige Ricketts and Molly Schriber each had 10. Carli Patrick netted eight points and collected a game-high 12 caroms. Allie Hawkins also had eight markers.

Sparked by 10 points apiece from Phillips and Ricketts, Heidelberg slowly but surely stretched its advantage to double digits in the opening 20 minutes, and led by 17 going into the locker room.

Marietta, meanwhile was struggling at both ends of the floor.

“We were pretty disappointed and mad at ourselves at halftime,” Booth said.

During the opening minute of the second half, Phillips scored and converted a bonus freebie to give HU its biggest lead of the contest, 46-26. After that, though, it was all Marietta as the home team battled back, and nearly caught the visitors from Tiffin.

With a little over two minutes left, and after Alexander, Booth and Brogan each had a bucket, Marietta was able to reduce the deficit to single digits, and trailed by only four, 73-69.

Heidelberg had an answer, though, and was able to give itself a seven-point cushion, 79-72. But then, Brogan drained a long three to cut it to four again with 41 seconds remaining.

Down the stretch, HU needed to make its free-throws and made enough of them to keep the Lady Pioneers at bay. During the game, The Berg converted 23 of 26 foul shots (88.5 percent).

“We turned the game around in the second half,” Booth said. “We’ve just got to come ready to play in the beginning.”