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Pioneer men cruise to OAC title game

Marietta College 102, Wilmington 68

MARIETTA — Marietta College extended its winning streak to 10 games here Thursday night inside Ban Johnson Arena as the Pioneers blitzed Wilmington, 102-68, in an Ohio Athletic Conference tournament semifinal.

The victory puts the top-seeded Pioneers (11-1) back in action at 6 p.m. Saturday in the title tilt when fifth-seeded Ohio Northern invades. ONU held off sixth-seeded Muskingum, 81-75, in the other semifinal.

Consecutive layups by Bilal Sow and Andrew Clark had the visiting Quakers (3-10) within two at 23-21 not quite midway through the first half. However, the Pioneers turned it on and held a commanding 57-37 advantage at intermission.

By the break, eight different Pioneers had scored five or more points. Lukas Isaly led the way with nine markers, going 3 of 4 from deep.

MC knocked down 9 of 15 from 3-point land in the opening half and finished at 50% on 28 attempts. The hosts shot an even 50% (21 of 42) in the first half and finished the affair at 52.8% (38 of 72).

Brett Martin’s layup via one of Jason Ellis’ five assists put Marietta College ahead for good at 2-0.

The Pioneers, who broke the century mark for the third time, used a balanced scoring attack in the blowout victory.

Mason Lydic led the way with a baker’s dozen. Tim Kreeger scored 12 while Isaly, Sahmi Willoughby and Jac Alexander tallied 11 markers apiece. Cooper Parrott, who joined Ellis and Willoughby in sharing game-high rebounding honors with six, tallied 10 points. Ryan Reidy finished with eight points, Ellis had seven and Kyle Matoszkia had five points and joined Kreeger with a pair of swats each.

Jeffery Mansfield, who hit 8 of 9 from the foul line, led the seventh-seeded Quakers with 14 points. Todd Larkin scored a dozen as the visitors shot just 35.9% (23 of 64) and missed 25 of 32 attempts from beyond the arc.

Ohio Northern lost a back-to-back versus the Pioneers on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27. In the first game at Ada, the Pioneers won 90-77 before rolling to a 105-72 triumph the next evening.

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