Marlo Taylor’s dagger 3 lifts Pioneers past Mount Union

Sophomore Marlo Taylor hit a three pointer with 3.8 seconds remaining to seal the 74-71 victory over the University of Mount Union on Wednesday. With the win the Pioneers improved to 14-8 overall and 9-6 in the Ohio Athletic Conference and with the loss the Purple Raiders fall to 16-6 overall and 9-6 in the OAC. Head coach Kole Vivian said, “I am so proud of how we finished that game. We had to get one stop with 45 seconds left and we did, and we handled our last possession like a very mature team. It was an excellent find by Shay and we always have confidence in Marlo.” The first quarter started as the teams traded baskets, and the Pioneers led 8-7, behind four points from Shay Lett. The Purple Raiders responded and took a 12-8 lead with six minutes to play in the opening frame. After Mount Union grabbed a 15-11 lead, Marietta rallied to tie the game at 17 points apiece, when Lett hit a three and Jo Herd-Middlebrooks tied the game with a layup. The Pioneers entered the second quarter behind, 20-17. The Purple Raiders scored the first five points of the second quarter, and stretched their lead to 25-17, which forced a Marietta timeout at the 7:17 minute mark of the quarter. Out of the timeout, Mount Union stretched its lead to 30-22 before the Pioneers opened a 7-0 run, that cut the lead to 30-29. The run was led by Alexis Enochs and was capped by a layup from Corrie Burkhardt. The teams battled down the stretch and Marietta led, 36-34 at the intermission. The Purple Raiders opened the second half with a flurry as they outscored the Pioneers 11-5 early in the third quarter to take a 45-41 edge. The Pioneers battled back to take a 46-45 edge when Herd-Middlebrooks knocked down a pair of foul shots. The teams swapped the lead for the remainder of the third quarter and Mount Union led, 56-54 to enter the final frame. Marietta tied the game at 59 points apiece early in the fourth quarter and a three pointer from Taylor gave the Pioneers a 62-59 edge, which forced a Purple Raiders timeout with seven minutes remaining in the game. Out of the timeout, Marietta was able to stretch its lead to 69-64 behind a three pointer from Bailee Brooks, which forced a Mount Union timeout at the 3:23 mark of the fourth quarter. After the break, the Purple Raiders tied the game at 71 points apiece and forced a Pioneers timeout. The game remained tied at 71 for a minute and a half until Taylor knocked down a three with 3.8 seconds remaining to give Marietta a 74-71 lead. The Pioneers won, 74-71. Marietta was led by Taylor as she had 15 points, five rebounds, and a pair of assists. Lett added 15 points, and had a pair of assists in the game. Burkhardt and Enochs each pitched in with 13 points and had seven and six rebounds respectively. Enochs tied a career high in blocks with five. Marietta will be back in action Saturday when it hosts Wilmington on Senior Night, with tip scheduled for 3 p.m. MEN ALLIANCE — The University of Mount Union upset No. 11 Marietta College by the score of 78-66 Wednesday evening in Ohio Athletic Conference men’s basketball action. Both the Pioneers and Purple Raiders are now 18-4 overall and 12-3 in the OAC. The game started out as a defensive struggle. Marietta grabbed a 6-5 lead five minutes into the first period on a three-pointer from Anthony Wallace. After the Pioneers added a bucket for an 8-5 lead, Mount Union went on an 8-0 run to go in front, 13-8. Mount Union held a 20-13 edge, before back to back baskets from Lukas Isaly and Wallace cut the advantage to 20-18 at the 8:34 mark of the half. The Pioneers finished off the rally and took a 27-24 lead with six minutes remaining in the half. The MC run was fueled by Wallace as he scored nine consecutive Pioneer points. The Purple Raiders responded with eight straight points that saw them regain a 32-27 advantage. Mount Union ended the half strong and led, 38-31 at the intermission. Caleb Hoying opened the second half scoring with a layup but the Pioneers trailed 44-35 four minutes into the half. The Purple Raiders continued to play well and took a 12-point lead before Jason Ellis hit a pair of foul shots at the 14:30 minute mark of the second half. After Mount Union stretched their lead to 60-46, Marietta rattled off seven straight points. Ellis scored five of the seven points and Kyle Dixon made a layup, to make the score 60-53 with just under eight minutes to play. The Pioneers continued to battle their way back as Isaly made a layup to cut the Purple Raider lead to 67-61. Mount Union was able to regain the momentum and pushed the margin back into double digits, 72-61, with under three minutes to play. The teams traded buckets down the stretch as Mount Union secured the win. The Pioneers were led by Wallace’s game high 21 points. He added three rebounds and a pair of steals. Ellis provided a spark off the bench with 13 points in 18 minutes of play. Dixon led the Pioneers in rebounds with seven and assists with four, while adding nine points. Andrew Francesconi led three Purple Raiders in double figures with 15 points. He also grabbed a game high nine rebounds. Tanner Slack finished 14 points, while Nathan Bower-Malone added 13 points. Marietta will be back in action Saturday when they travel to battle Wilmington, with tip scheduled for 3 p.m.