Wilmington edges #11 Marietta 68-62

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WILMINGTON, Ohio – The #11 ranked Marietta College men's basketball team dropped a 68-62 decision at Wilmington College Saturday (Feb. 9) afternoon in Ohio Athletic Conference action. The Pioneers fall to 18-5 overall and 12-4 in the OAC. Wilmington improves to 16-6 overall and 12-4 in league play.

The first half opened with the Quakers jumping out to an 8-2 lead over the first four minutes of play. The Pioneer points came on a jumper from Kyle Dixon. Marietta responded with a 9-2 run that saw them grab a 11-10 edge. The run started with an old fashioned three-point play and was capped by a Tim Kreeger dunk.

Wilmington answered back to regain a 18-13 lead with just under 10 minutes to play in the half. After a minute of scoreless action the Pioneers called a timeout. Anthony Wallace scored on a quick layup after the timeout, but the Quakers managed to push the lead to 28-17 with four minutes left in the half.

The teams swapped baskets for the remainder of the half, but a step back jumper from Keith Richardson as time expired cut the Wilmington edge to 37-27 at the intermission.

A slow start to the second half for both teams left Wilmington with a 40-29 lead nearly six minutes into the period. Christian James ignited an 8-2 Pioneer run that Dixon finished off with a three-pointer to get Marietta within seven, 44-37, midway through the half.

After the Quakers stretched their lead to 49-37, Marietta answered back with a quick 7-0 run that cut the Wilmington advantage to 49-44. The run was propelled by Jason Ellis as he scored five of the seven points.

Marietta continued to battle and a three-pointer from Dixon cut the Quaker advantage to 55-53 with three and a half minutes to play in the game.

It was a one possession game in the final minute, but Wilmington hit four free throws down the stretch to hold on for the 68-62 victory.

The Pioneers were led by Richardson as he scored 17 points, had five rebounds and three assists. Ellis added 15 points, as he knocked down 10 foul shots. Dixon scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the game.

Wilmington's Kevin Lewis drained five three-pointers and led all scorers with 24 points. He also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Will Patrick added 13 points.

For the game, Marietta shot 28.8% (17-of-59) from the floor, 15.0% (3-of-20) from three-point range and 80.6% (25-of-31) at the free throw line. The Quakers were 21-of-47 (44.7%) from the floor, 6-of-21 (28.6%) behind the arc and 20-of-30 (66.7%) at the line.

Wilmington turned the ball over 13 times, while the Pioneers committed 10 turnovers. Marietta outrebounded the Quakers, 41-36.

Marietta will return to the hardwood on Wednesday (Feb. 13) when they host rival Muskingum University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.