#13 Marietta upends St. Thomas in overtime

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MARIETTA, Ohio — In a game that could just as easily been played in the Salem Civic Center in March for the NCAA Division III national championship, Marietta College outlasted the University of St. Thomas, 85-83, in overtime Saturday (Nov. 18) in the final game of the Great Lakes Invitational.

"I thought it was a great college basketball game," St. Thomas head coach Johnny Tauer said. "Marietta is one of the best programs in the country and we thrilled to get the opportunity to play against them. We came up a little short but I was proud of our guys and the effort they gave."

DeVaughn Wingard completed an old-fashioned three-point play with nine seconds left in overtime to put the Pioneers in front, 85-83. The Tommies had a chance to force a second extra period by Ryan Boll's shot was off the mark as time expired.

"That was some crazy stuff out there," VanderWal said. "We got mad respect for St. Thomas. What a well coached team."

Boll turned in the performance of the weekend pouring in 39 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for St. Thomas. The 6-foot-6 senior connected on 14-of-26 shots, including 4-for-4 from three-point range, to lead al scorers. He also dished out six assists.

"I told him (Boll) in the handshake line that that was one of the best individual performances I've seen in this gym," said Marietta head coach Jon VanderWal.

Marietta came out firing in the first half and grabbed the early lead. The Pioneers led by as many as 11 points in the opening period on the strength of their long range shooting. Marietta hit on 9-of-13 attempts from behind the arc in the first half and went into halftime with a 44-34 lead.

St. Thomas regrouped at the break and rode Boll in the second half. The Tommie used a 9-0 run to take a one-point lead, 54-53, with 12;45 left in regulation. The teams traded leads over the next several minutes and another Boll basket tied the game, 76-76nwith 39 seconds remaining.

The Pioneers missed a jumper on the ensuing possession giving St. Thomas a chance to take the final shot for the win. Boll's jumper at the buzzer was off the mark sending the game into overtime.

Marietta played from behind the entire overtime period but kept the score a one-possession deficit until Wingard delivered the winning points.

"I feel really good about this team," VanderWal said. "We're still a work in progress, but the sky is the limit with these guys."

Anthony Wallace earned All-Tournament honors after leading the Pioneers with 22 points. Kyle Dixon scored 16 points, while Avery Williams added 12 points and nine rebounds.

Boll represented St. Thomas on the All-Tournament Team. GT Johnson chipped in with 14 points and eight boards.

Marietta hits the road for the next three games. The Pioneers play at Frostburg State on Tuesday (Nov. 21) at 7 p.m.