ALLIANCE, Ohio — The University of Mount Union upset No. 11 Marietta College by the score of 78-66 Wednesday (Feb. 6) evening in Ohio Athletic Conference men's basketball action. Both the Pioneers and Purple Raiders are now 18-4 overall and 12-3 in the OAC.
The game started out as a defensive struggle. Marietta grabbed a 6-5 lead five minutes into the first period on a three-pointer from Anthony Wallace. After the Pioneers added a bucket for an 8-5 lead, Mount Union went on an 8-0 run to go in front, 13-8.
Mount Union held a 20-13 edge, before back to back baskets from Lukas Isaly and Wallace cut the advantage to 20-18 at the 8:34 mark of the half. The Pioneers finished off the rally and took a 27-24 lead with six minutes remaining in the half. The MC run was fueled by Wallace as he scored nine consecutive Pioneer points.
The Purple Raiders responded with eight straight points that saw them regain a 32-27 advantage. Mount Union ended the half strong and led, 38-31 at the intermission.
Caleb Hoying opened the second half scoring with a layup but the Pioneers trailed 44-35 four minutes into the half. The Purple Raiders continued to play well and took a 12-point lead before Jason Ellis hit a pair of foul shots at the 14:30 minute mark of the second half.
After Mount Union stretched their lead to 60-46, Marietta rattled off seven straight points. Ellis scored five of the seven points and Kyle Dixon made a layup, to make the score 60-53 with just under eight minutes to play.
The Pioneers continued to battle their way back as Isaly made a layup to cut the Purple Raider lead to 67-61. Mount Union was able to regain the momentum and pushed the margin back into double digits, 72-61, with under three minutes to play. The teams traded buckets down the stretch as Mount Union secured the win.
The Pioneers were led by Wallace's game high 21 points. He added three rebounds and a pair of steals. Ellis provided a spark off the bench with 13 points in 18 minutes of play. Dixon led the Pioneers in rebounds with seven and assists with four, while adding nine points.
Andrew Francesconi led three Purple Raiders in double figures with 15 points. He also grabbed a game high nine rebounds. Tanner Slack finished 14 points, while Nathan Bower-Malone added 13 points.
Marietta will be back in action Saturday (Feb. 9) when they travel to battle Wilmington, with tip scheduled for 3 p.m.