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Pioneers set 3-point shooting record in win over Princes

MARIETTA — Perseverance and a helping of unselfishness by her teammates resulted in a record night for Marietta College senior Kate Liston and her fellow 3-point shooters.

The former product from Warren High School knocked down her first six 3-pointers of the game and finished with a career seven treys and 21 points in the Pioneers’ 91-52 win over Heidelberg Saturday afternoon at Ban Johnson Arena.

As a team, MC set a school record with 18 3-pointers, which surpassed the former record of 16 set last season against Wilmington. Ten different Pioneers contributed to the barrage.

“Kate Liston shot the ball well last year and I think teams are guarding her different because she did shoot so well,” MC coach Kole Vivian said. “She has been in the gym working her tail off. Tonight, once she started making some the girls start seeing the ball go through the net and that’s how we were able to make 18 3-pointers tonight.”

Prior to Saturday’s game, the 3-point area had not been Liston’s friend — a location where she had been only 18% accurate. Against the Student Princes (3-11, 2-5), the MC senior made 7-of-9.

“Honestly, my teammates have had a lot of confidence in me even though I haven’t been shooting well the past several games,” Liston said after the No. 22 Pioneers improved to 14-1 and 7-1. “If it weren’t for them, this wouldn’t happen. All the glory goes to God for that, too.”

Liston was not even a member of the starting five. MC’s first five produced just two points in the first five minutes of the game. The second five of Liston, Devin Hefner, Jill Congrove, Camille Cummins and Hannah Kroft checked into the game with the scored tied at 2, then gave the Pioneers a much-needed spark with 21 points in the last 4:47 of the first quarter.

Liston accounted for four 3-pointers and former Parkersburg South standout Devin Hefner dished out four of her career high seven assists as the Pioneers built a 23-9 advantage heading into the second quarter.

“(At the outset), we were going against their set defense and once we started getting in there we started getting live ball rebounds and turnovers. Then when we were able to run. That second group was really good for us.”

MC kept rolling in the second quarter and built its largest lead at 47-14 with a minute and a half remaining before halftime. The 14th MC 3-pointer increased the gap to an insurmountable 70-28 late in the third quarter.

Haley Ross’ trey at the 3:20 mark of the fourth quarter tied the school record at 16, and Mariah Goddard’s 3-point make with 1:13 showing broke the mark.

Olivia Gribble added 11 points for the Pioneers.

“The reserves making 3-pointers and breaking the record was the highlight of the game because we are all about team here,” Liston said. “Number 1 through 22, we all have role on this team no matter what it is. Games like tonight are fun, that’s for sure.”

Contact Kerry Patrick at kpatrick@newsandsentinel.com

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