Hoyng leads #21 Marietta to upset of #7 Wittenberg

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MARIETTA, Ohio – The No. 21 ranked Marietta College men's basketball team remained undefeated on the season with an 84-74 win over No. 7 Wittenberg University Wednesday (Nov. 28) evening in a packed Ban Johnson Arena. The Pioneer improve to 6-0 on the season, while Wittenberg drops to 4-1 overall.

"I am extremely proud of our guys as they competed extremely hard," Marietta head coach Jon VanderWal said. "Holding Wittenberg to under 38 percent shooting and out rebounding them by nine was the difference in the game". 

The teams traded baskets on their first two possessions of the game and the Tigers held an early 5-4 edge. A quick 7-0 run from Wittenberg saw them grab a 12-4 lead with just over 17 minutes remaining in the half.

The Pioneers ended the run with a three-pointer from Lukas Isaly. After a couple of minutes of back and forth action, Marietta rattled off an 11-0 run that saw them take a 22-20 advantage with 8:28 mark left in the first half.

The run was sparked by three-point shooting, as Caleb Hoyng, and Anthony Wallace each knocked down threes during the run, which forced a Tigers timeout. Out of the timeout, the Pioneers continued to pull away, and stretched their lead to 34-24 with just over three minutes remaining in the half.

Marietta's strong play was led by Christian James as he scored seven points during the span.   The Pioneers finished off the first half and led, 40-32, at the intermission.

At the half, Marietta was led by Hoyng as he had 14 points on 50 percent shooting from behind the arc.  As a team the Pioneers shot a tick over 42 percent from the floor and out rebounded Wittenberg, 23-18.

Marietta came out of the locker room ready to play as a quick 5-0 spurt provided them a 45-32 advantage.  The run was highlighted by a layup from Mel Shuler and a three-pointer from Hoyng.

The Pioneers were carried early in the second half by their three-point shooting as they drained three triples, and took a 57-38 edge at the 13:15 mark of the second half.

After the teams traded baskets for a couple of minutes, back to back three-pointers from Kyle Dixon and Wallace stretched the Marietta lead to 65-42 with just under 11 minutes remaining in the game.

The Pioneers grabbed their largest lead of the night, 23 points, when Wallace knocked down a trey for a 65-42 MC advantage. The Tigers battled back and cut the Marietta lead to 70-56 with just under six minutes remaining in the game forcing a Pioneers timeout.  Out of the timeout, Wittenberg continued to battle back with eight straight points to get within six points, 70-64, which forced another Pioneers timeout.

Marietta closed the game out at the charity stripe, and defeated the Tigers for the first time in the last three meetings between the two regional powers. 

The Pioneers were led by Hoyng as he had a career-high 26 points. Dixon pitched in with a double-double as he notched 10 points and grabbed 10 boards in the game. Isaly added 14 points for a career-high, and also dished out four assists. 

"Caleb was amazing for us tonight, and down the stretch we made the plays we needed to win the game," concluded VanderWal.

Marietta hits the road on Saturday (Dec. 1) for a showdown with OAC preseason favorite John Carroll University. Tip-off in University heights is scheduled for 2 p.m.