No. 9 Marietta advances to OAC Tournament Championship game

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MARIETTA, Ohio — Marietta College advanced to the championship game of the Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament with a 78-74 win over visiting Baldwin Wallace University Thursday (Feb. 26) evening in Ban Johnson Arena. The Pioneers will host the University of Mount Union in the title game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Baldwin Wallace (18-9 overall) opened the game with an 8-2 run and would hold the lead for nearly 17 minutes of the first half. Marietta (25-2 overall) grabbed the lead briefly when junior Luis Garcia scored six straight points to put the Pioneers ahead by one, 21-20, at the 9:30 mark.

The Yellow Jackets answered with a 10-3 run of their own to open a six-point lead, 30-24, with 4:33 left in the half. BW took a 36-34 advantage into halftime.

The second half was a back and forth affair featuring six ties and nine lead changes. A three-pointer from Justin Roth with 3:11 left in the game put BW in front, 64-63. Marietta's Eddy Grenert responded with three-pointer on the ensuing possession as the Pioneers took the lead for good.

Grenert's trey triggered an 11-3 run for the Pioneers as Marietta opened its biggest lead of the game, 74-67, with 50 seconds left on the clock. BW was forced to foul and Marietta converted all four free throw attempts in the final seconds to secure the win.

Ewing led the Pioneers with 21 points and 11 rebounds notching his first double-double of the season. Grenert also joined the double-double club with 13 points and 10 boards. Garcia hit four three-pointers and finished with 19 points.

Roth paced the Yellow Jackets with 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Jake Fetherolf had 12 points and 13 caroms, while Jaron Crowe chipped in with 13 points and five assists.

For the game, Marietta shot 41.9% (26-of-62) from the floor, 38.1% (8-of-21) behind the arc and 66.7% (18-of-27) at the line. Baldwin Wallace was 27-of-72 (37.5%) from the floor, 8-of-33 (24.2%) from three-point range and 12-of-17 (70.6%) at the line.

The Yellow Jackets outrebounded Marietta 46-44. Both teams turned the ball over 11 times.

No. 3 seed Mount Union upset No. 2 seed John Carroll in overtime by the score of 89-88. The Purple Raiders will get the opportunity to defend their OAC Tournament championship when the visit Ban Johnson Arena on Saturday. Marietta and Mount Union split the regular season series with each school winning on its home court.