Pioneer women remain perfect

WESTERVILLE — The No. 21 ranked Marietta College women’s basketball team picked up right where they left off before the Christmas break as the Pioneers downed Calvin, 64-56, Friday in the Otterbein Smokey Ballenger Classic.

Marietta stayed perfect on the season moving to 10-0 overall. Calvin fell to 6-5 on the season.

“We knew coming into the game that Calvin had three of the finest players in the region, and they each scored in double figures,” Marietta head coach Kole Vivian said. “But we really made them work for theirs and kept everyone else from the scoring column.”

Seniors Brooke Borich and Amisha Herd led the Pioneers with 17 and 11 points, respectively. Herd dished out five assists and had five rebounds. But it was Marietta’s balanced attack that was too much for Calvin.

Corrie Burkhardt finished with nine points and six rebounds. Alexis Enochs came off the bench to score eight points and grab six boards, while Shay Lett chipped in with six points and nine rebounds.

“Offensively, Calvin kept us about 20 points below our season average, but we got a great performance from Borich, especially in the fourth quarter,” Vivian said. “Amisha was really good, playing great defense today while scoring, dishing out five assists and not turning over the ball at all. And our bench was huge. We were the deeper team and it showed.”

Ali Spayde scored a game-high 22 points for Calvin. Rachel Warners added 14 points and nine rebounds, while Bre Luurtsema finished with 10 points and nine boards.

The teams played even in the first quarter with neither squad leading by more than a few points. Marietta opened a seven-point lead in the second quarter but Calvin managed to trim it to one, 29-28, at halftime.

Marietta started the third quarter with a 15-2 run opening a 14-point lead, 44-30. Five different Pioneers scored during the run including three-pointers from Borich and Lett.

Calvin hit five of its seven three-pointers in the fourth quarter to keep the game within reach. Warners hit a triple with 1:25 left in the game to make it a four-point deficit, 55-51. But Marietta answered with the next five points to secure the victory.

For the game, Marietta shot 39.3 percent (24-of-61) from the floor, 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from three-point range and 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the free throw line. Calvin was 20-of-62 (32.3 percent) from the floor, 7-of-30 (23.3 percent) behind the arc and 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) at the line.

Calvin edged the Pioneers on the glass, 41-40. Marietta turned the ball over 10 times, while Calvin committed 12 turnovers.

Marietta concludes play in the Otterbein Smokey Ballenger Classic on Saturday with a 1 p.m. game against Case Western Reserve University.