Marietta College men win; women falter

MARIETTA – Marietta College went from boom to bust.

After leading Capital University 37-28 at the break, the Pioneers fell off the pace in the second half and suffered a 67-56 setback in an Ohio Athletic Conference women’s basketball game at Ban Johnson Arena Wednesday night.

“We’re right there,” said first-year MC head coach Stacia Shrider, whose Pioneer cagers (6-10 overall, 1-8 OAC) lost their fourth straight game. “The first half, we played great. We really struggled scoring in the second half, and turnovers definitely killed us.”

Marietta shot 57.7 percent (15 of 26) from the floor during the first 20 minutes of play and 30.4 percent (seven of 23) in the second half. After committing nine turnovers in the first half, the Pioneers finished with 25 in the game.

“We’ve got to learn how to put two halves together,” said Shrider, whose team also squandered a halftime lead in its previous game at John Carroll University. “I think that comes with our youth and inexperience. We’re really close. We’re on the brink, and we’re going to keep plugging away.”

Tori Dixon led MC with 13 points. Heather Booth chipped in with 10, and Paige Lamb netted nine.

Capital’s Stacy Timmerman tallied a game-high 29 points, and Cookie Geroski added 19. The Crusaders improved their record to 11-5 and 6-3.

Sparked by Dixon and Booth, who scored eight points apiece in the first half, MC had Capital reeling.

The Pioneers made their first four shots on buckets by Lamb, Dixon, Booth and Lamb again to lead 9-2. After Dixon drained a 3 to give the home team its first double-digit advantage, the Crusaders signaled timeout.

But MC stayed hot when play was resumed and maintained the lead for the remainder of the half. Providing a lift off the pine, Jessica Brogan scored seven points; Lindsay Deemer, four; and Shelby Maloney, three.

Timmerman kept Capital from getting blown off the court by scoring 13 first-half markers.

At the start of the second half, Capital capitalized on some cold shooting by Marietta, and slowly but surely whittled away at the lead. The Pioneers didn’t make their first deuce until Deemer’s bucket at the 12:34 mark.

With 9:02 remaining, Geroski’s jumper gave the Crusaders their first lead, 46-45, of the contest. After that, the visitors never looked back.

With a little over two minutes left, Marietta’s Candice Alexander’s freebie cut it to three, 57-54, but that’s as close as the home team would get. Down the stretch, the Pioneers were kept at bay by Capital’s deadeye shooting at the foul line.

“The second half is always an issue for us,” Shrider said. “We’ve got to find a way to get ourselves pumped up, take care of the basketball, and score offensively.”

Marietta is scheduled to play at Wilmingon on Saturday.


Iowa State 69, West Virginia 67

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Freshman Georges Niang hit a layup with 2.5 seconds left and Iowa State beat West Virginia 69-67 Wednesday night despite blowing an 18-point lead.

Melvin Ejim had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Cyclones (12-4, 2-1 Big 12), who survived an unexpectedly wild finish for their second straight win.

Iowa State opened the second half with an 18-4 run and led by as much as 56-38. The Mountaineers (8-8, 1-3) tied it at 67 on 3 by Jabarie Hinds with 11.6 seconds left, but Niang got wide open for the game-winner underneath the basket.

Hinds had 20 points for West Virginia. Juwan Staten, the Mountaineers second-leading scorer, had seven points and seven assists after being benched by coach Bob Huggins for the previous three halves.

West Virginia missed its first 12 3-point attempts before hitting nine of its last 12.

Marietta 69, Capital 68

COLUMBUS, Ohio Senior Jacob Owens banked in a fade-away three-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer to lift Marietta College over Capital University by the score of 69-68 Wednesday night.

The win moves the Pioneers into a tie for first place in the Ohio Athletic Conference standings with an 8-1 record. Marietta is 12-4 overall, while the Crusaders fall to 11-5 on the season.

Marietta played from behind most of the game, but the Crusaders were never able to pull away. Capital led by eight points, 38-30, with 1:25 left in the first half, only to see the Pioneers finish on an 8-3 run to cut the Crusader lead to three, 41-38, at halftime.

Capital never trailed in the second half until Owens drained the game-winning shot. Marietta managed to tie the game several times early in the half. The Crusaders eventually built a 10-point lead, 60-50, with 6:04 left on the clock.

The Pioneers used a balanced attack to outscore Capital 19-8 over the final six minutes. MC’s 6-7 post player Garrett Stephenson drained a three-pointer, just his third of the season, to slice the Crusader lead to two, 64-62, with 2:10 remaining.

Spencer Niekamp hit a pair of free throws to push the margin back to four, 66-62. After trading buckets, Pioneer senior Tyler Worstell hit a jumper with 43 seconds left to make it a two-point game, 68-66.

Following a Pioneer timeout, Capital committed a crucial turnover, giving Marietta the ball with 10 seconds on the clock Head coach Jon VanderWal called timeout to set up the last shot for Owens, who delivered the ame-winner in the clutch.

Ohio 81,

Northern Illinois 63

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) – Walter Offutt scored 19 points and Ohio used a 20-2 run in the first half to defeat Northern Illinois 81-63 in a Mid-American Conference game Wednesday night.

Reggie Keely chipped in 12 points for the Bobcats (12-5, 3-0), who are 11-1 at home.

Abdel Nader scored 17 points for Northern Illinois (3-12, 1-2), Keith Gray had 14 and J.J. Cravatta and Darrell Bowie had 10 each.

Northern Illinois led 10-9 on Daveon Balls’ jumper with 13:57 left, but Ohio’s run gave it a 29-12 advantage, capped by Ivo Baltic’s dunk with 5:35 remaining. Stevie Taylor scored all eight of his points during the run.

The Bobcats led 45-18 at the break, shooting 68 percent from the field (17 of 25) and 63.6 percent from beyond the arc (7 of 11). Ohio had assists on 16 of its baskets compared to two for Northern Illinois.