Marietta men knock off Mount Union

MARIETTA – One sign of a great heavyweight fighter is one who can take his opponent’s best punch and still manage to fight back in the end to get the win.

The Marietta College Pioneers played like true heavyweights Wednesday night as they withstood an outstanding Mount Union shooting performance from behind the arc to down the Purple Raiders 97-90 at Ban Johnson Arena in an Ohio Athletic Conference shootout.

The Purple Raiders connected on 15-of-28 shots from behind the arc, but still came up short in their attempt to upset the Pioneers.

“They (Mount Union) were throwing it in from everywhere out there tonight,” said Pioneer head coach John VanderWal of the Purple Raiders. “They have a talented team and they all had it going tonight.”

Marietta College wasn’t too shabbyitself from long range as the Pios connected on 12-of-25 three-point shots of their own, including 7-of-11 in the second half.

After Saturday’s loss to Baldwin-Wallace, VanderWal elected to mix up his starting lineup up a bit for Mount Union as leading scorer J.J. Martin was on the bench at the game’s outset.

Martin responded by dropping in a career-high 33 points in the game, including 18 in the second half.

“J.J had a great game tonight,” said VanderWal of Martin, who connected on 11-of-16 field goal attempts in the game, including four from behind the arc. “He was in the doghouse a little bit, so we didn’t start him tonight, but he handled it tremendously and played great.”

The Raiders parlayed their perimeter shooting into a healthy 31-20 lead with 7:48 to play in the first half, but the Pioneers rallied for a 24-12 run to take a 44-43 lead at halftime.

The lead was never more than three by either team in the second half until Tyler Hammond’s three-pointer with 8:13 to play gave the Pios a 74-69 lead.

The Pioneers, though, finally put some distance between themselves and the Raiders as senior guard Scott Kimmey scored eight points, including a pair from behind the arc, to spark a 10-2 Pioneer run and give them a double-digit 88-78 lead with 2:08 to play.

From there on, the Pioneers (10-1, 6-1) took care of business at the foul line, as for the game, they connected on 29-of-33 free throw attempts to claim their sixth conference victory in seven attempts.

The Purple Raiders (5-9, 3-4) had five scorers in double figures led by Jarrett Ruffin’s 20. Williamstown High School graduate Matt Kiger started for Mount Union and scored a pair of points as the senior spent much of the second half on the bench with four fouls.

WOMEN

Mount Union 68,

Marietta College 35

ADA, Ohio – Rosa LaMattina scored 19 points and teammate Aly Daniel tallied 16 here Wednesday night as host Mount Union rolled to a 68-35 triumph versus Marietta College in Ohio Athletic Conference action.

Mount Union, now 11-3 overall and 5-2 in the OAC, also got a dozen markers from Amanda Turner and forced 27 Pioneer turnovers.

Tori Dixon and Emily Jones finished with eight points apiece for Marietta College, which fell to 6-8 overall and 1-6 in the OAC.