MARIETTA - The Marietta College women's basketball team dropped their sixth consecutive game Wednesday evening as the visiting Otterbein Cardinals broke open a close game with a big second half en route to a 78-57 Ohio Athletic Conference victory.
The game took on an all too familiar story line for Marietta College head coach Stacia Shrider and her Pioneers as they struggled once again to play as strong in the second half as they did in the first.
The Pioneers were very competitive in the opening half and actually held a 32-30 lead with less than four minutes to play.
Junior guard Tori Dixon scored 17 first-half points, including five from behind the arc to spark the Pioneers.
The Otterbein bench outscored MC 23-8 in the game and non-starter Madi Miller provided a huge spark for the Cardinals late in the first half.
Miller scored seven consecutive points in the final two minutes of the half to lead a 9-0 Otterbein run and send the visitors to the intermission with a 39-32 lead.
Dixon picked up right where she left off with a long 3 to open the second half for MC and after Chelsea Cannon scored an inside bucket for the Cardinals, Marietta High School graduate Paige Lamb drilled a trey of her own to cut the lead to 41-38.
The next eight minutes of the game would prove detrimental to the hosts as Otterbein rallied to go on a 20-1 run and turn a mere three-point lead into a comfortable 61-39 lead with 12:54 to play.
The Cardinals scored 22 points off turnovers and 16 more off offensive rebounds in the game, two statistics that Shrider felt led to the Marietta College demise.
"It just seemed like they got the offensive boards at the right time and were able to convert on them," said Shrider, whose Pioneers scored just six points off turnovers and eight more off offensive rebounds. "That's really where I think we let the game get away from us in the second half."
Marietta got no closer than 16 points the rest of the way as they dropped their ninth conference game in 10 decisions.
Otterbein, now 15-3 overall and 9-2 in conference play, was led in scoring by Chillicothe native Hannah Day, who tossed in 20 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Chelsea Reed finished with 14 points and Allie Leopard added 10 points to go along with seven assists and six steals for the Cardinals.
Dixon finished with 20 points to lead the Pioneers.
Central Mighigan 77, Ohio 48
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio fell to the Mid-American Conference leading Central Michigan Chippewas 77-48 Wednesday night in the Convocation Center. The Bobcats held two early leads in the game but were beaten by a balanced CMU squad which saw five players score in double figures.
Ohio shot 17-59 (28.8 percent) from the field in the loss and were buoyed by double-digit outings from Erin Bailes and Kiyanna Black, who scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.