No. 21 Marietta stays perfect with 82-75 road win over John Carroll

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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — The No. 21 ranked Marietta College men's basketball team was 10-for-10 at the free throw line in the final 23 seconds to secure an 82-75 win at John Carroll University Saturday (Dec. 1) afternoon.

The Pioneers improve to 7-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Marietta snapped a four-game losing streak in University Heights winning for the first time in the DeCarlo Center since January of 2014. John Carroll fals to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the OAC.

"Wow, I couldn't be prouder of our team right now," Marietta head coach Jon VanderWal said. "John Carroll is one of the toughest places to win on the road and our guys found a way to get it done. Our backs were against the wall late in the game but we made some huge plays down the stretch."

Senior Kyle Dixon scored 12 points in the second half and led the Pioneers with 18 points in the game. Senior Anthony Wallace and freshman Lukas Isaly added 10 points each, while senior Mel Shuler chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Tim Kreeger also pulled down seven boards for the Pioneers.

Jimmy Berger was the lone Blue Streak in double figures with 19 points. Connor Fitzgerald and Luke Hippler tallied nine points each, while Greg Parella and Emil Hess added eight points apiece. Hess grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

With five ties and seven lead changes through the first 14 minutes of the game, neither team was able to take control. Karson Snyder drained a three-pointer to put the Pioneers in front, 28-26, with 4:23 left in the first half. Marietta led the rest of the period and a last second three-pointer my Mike Hall put the Pioneers ahead by nine, 40-31, at halftime.

MC pushed the lead to as many as 12 points, 34-46, on a layup from Shuler with 16:40 left in the game. The Blue Streaks gradually got back into the game and tied the score, 56-56, on a layup from Sean Flannery with 7:38 remaining.

A jumper from Berger gave JCU a four-point lead, 63-59, with less than five minutes remaining. But Marietta answered with a 6-0 run getting a layup from Shuler and two from Dixon to retake the lead, 65-63.

A jumper from Wallace gave Marietta a four-point cushion, 72-68, with 52 seconds on the clock. But any hopes of an upset by the Blue Streaks were dashed at the free throw line as Marietta sank its last 12 free throw attempts, including 10 in the final 23 seconds.

Marietta was 27-of-65 (41.5%) from the floor, 7-of-23 (30.4%) behind the arc and 21-of-25 (84.0%) at the line. The Blue Streaks shot 47.0% (31-of-66) from the floor, 25.0% (6-of-24) from three-point range and 50.0% (7-of-14) at the line.

The Pioneers held a slim, 41-39, edge on the glass. Marietta turned the ball over 16 times, while the Blue Streaks committed 14 turnovers.

Marietta returns home to host Baldwin Wallace University next Saturday (Dec. 8). Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. in Ban Johnson Arena.