MC men host John Carroll Saturday; women on road

Photo courtesy of Nate Knobel Photography Marietta College’s DeVaughn Wingard, left, shoots during a college men’s basketball game against Baldwin Wallace earlier this season at Ban Johnson Arena.

White makes might.

Marietta College men’s basketball coach Jon VanderWal is encouraging Pioneer fans to don white clothing when the Pioneers host always-dangerous John Carroll University in an Ohio Athletic Conference showdown at 3 p.m. Saturday at Ban Johnson Arena.

MC is No. 13-ranked in the men’s top 25 poll with a 6-1 overall record (1-1 OAC), while JCU is the owner of a 5-1 mark (1-1 OAC).

Also in action at 3 p.m. Saturday, the 24th-ranked and undefeated Marietta College women’s team (6-0, 2-0) is slated to play at John Carroll University (2-4, 0-2).

The Marietta men are coming off an 81-75 bounce-back win at La Roche (Pa.) University Monday night. Two days before, the Pioneers suffered a buzzer-beating 73-72 setback to visiting Baldwin Wallace University at the BanJo.

“Sports are so rewarding and cruel at the same time, right,” said VanderWal after the loss. “Like those guys (BW Yellow Jackets) are on cloud nine, feeling like they’re on top of the world right now.

“My guys are about as far down in the dumps as you can be because (BW) banked in a 30-footer. I mean, how fair is that? But that’s what’s crazy about sports. Those things happen.”

With that defeat, MC went from No. 6 in the national rankings to No. 13. BW (4-1, 1-0), meanwhile, entered the Top 25 (No. 22) for the first time this season. The Pioneers are scheduled to play at the Yellow Jacket gym on Jan. 27, 2018.

Against John Carroll, MC is expected to start Dillon Young, Anthony Wallace, Kyle Dixon, Caleb Hoyng, and Avery Williams.

The Blue Streaks will be guided by first-year boss Pete Moran, who is succeeding his father Mike Moran, a longtime JCU head coach of the men’s team.

Last winter, Marietta College and John Carroll U split with each school winning on its home floor.

The probable starters for the MC women’s team at JCU will be Amisha Herd, Jenna Andersen, Shay Lett, Corrie Burkhardt, and Brooke Borich.

This past Monday, Borich, a former Fort Frye Cadet, was honored as the OAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week. She is the second Pioneer cager to receive this award this season, joining Alexis Enochs, also an ex-Cadet.