MC women on a roll: Lady Pios top JCU

After beating visiting John Carroll University, 71-61, Saturday, Marietta College will get another opportunity to try and do it again in the opening round of the Ohio Athletic Conference women’s basketball tournament at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center in University Heights at 6 p.m. tonight.

“It’ll be a good game,” said first-year MC head coach Stacia Shrider, whose No. 7-seeded Lady Pioneers (10-15 overall, 5-13 OAC) dropped an 80-65 decision at No. 6-seeded JCU (13-12, 6-12) on Jan. 12. “The girls’ll be ready for it.

“Homecourt advantage definitely plays a part in it, but if we play as hard as we did today, rebound, and take care of the basketball, good things are going to happen.”

On Saturday, in its regular-season finale at Ban Johnson Arena, Marietta College had eight players with eight points or more. Non-starter and freshman Emily Jones led the way with 15 points on seven of 11 from the floor. Former MHS Tiger Paige Lamb and senior Krissy Rowe added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Tori Dixon, Candice Alexander, and Heather Boothe each netted nine markers, and Bailey Topf chipped in with eight.

“We had great contributions from a lot of girls,” Shrider said. “Emily Jones has been playing absolutely wonderful. She came in and gave us great minutes.”

Rowe, who, as the only senior on the Lady Pioneer squad, was recognized before the opening tip-off, agreed and added, “I think our balanced scoring is a part of the reason why we’re playing so well right now.

“Halfway through the year,” Rowe continued, “we switched our offense over, and the whole point of it is to utilize all of our weapons. We have a lot of girls on the floor who are good at a lot of different things. We want to give everybody an opportunity to score. We’re starting to click. We’re a young team, but a lot of girls have matured. A lot of girls have developed their confidence.”

John Carroll was paced by Melissa Spahar, who tallied a game-high 21 points. Allison Lustig added 17, and Beth Switzler had eight.

Early in the opening half, after MC scored 11 unanswered points to take a 17-11 lead, it never looked back. During the surge, Dixon drained a triple, Jones and Alexander each had three points, and Topf made a deuce.

Sparked by nine points apiece from Dixon and Jones, the Lady Pioneers owed a 37-28 advantage at the intermission.

After the break, John Carroll was able to reduce the deficit to two, 43-41, on Rebecca Sigler’s bucket at the 14:40 mark. But that’s as close as the Lady Blue Streaks would get.

MC responded with a 7-0 run on two Rowe freebies, a Jones jumper, a Topf bucket and freebie to give itself a nine-point cushion, 50-41.

At crunchtime, the Lady Pioneers were deadeyes at the line with Rowe and Lamb combining to convert six free-throws to help keep John Carroll at bay.

“We’re pretty hot right now,” Shrider said. “We’ve won four of the last five. It’s the right time to start getting hot during the end of the season. We’re ready to play anybody right now.”


John Carroll 74, Marietta 68

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS – John Carroll University outscored Marietta College by 17 points in the second half to post a 74-68 come from behind win in Ohio Athletic Conference men’s basketball Saturday.

Marietta finished the regular season 18-7 overall and 14-4 in the OAC. The Pioneers will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming OAC Tournament. John Carroll, 12-12 overall and 9-9 in the OAC, will be the No. 5 seed.

The Pioneers used a 14-2 run over the last 4:57 of the first half to take a 44-33 lead in the break. A three-pointer from freshman A.J. Ireland with 12:06 left in the game gave Marietta a 10-point lead, 59-49.

John Carroll then went on a 17-5 run over the next seven plus minutes to take the lead 66-64, with 4:39 remaining in the game. The Blue Streaks held Marietta scoreless for nearly five and a half minutes during the run.

Three-pointers from JCU’s David Hendrickson and Regan Sweeney down the stretch sealed the win for the Blue Streaks.

J.J. Martin led the Pioneers with 17 points. Tyler Hammond scored 13 points and dished out five assists, while Jacob Owens added 12 points hitting 4-of-5 from behind the arc. John Carroll’s Kyle Hubbard led all scorers with 21 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds. Danny Wallack hit five treys and finished with 18 points.

Hendrickson and Sweeney chipped in with 14 and 13 points, respectively.