COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 19 ranked Capital University took over sole possession of first place in the Ohio Athletic Conference standings with a 74-57 win over No. 8 Marietta College Thursday (Jan. 31) evening. The Pioneers slip to 17-3 overall and 11-2 in the OAC, while Capital improves to 12-1 in the conference and 17-3 overall.
"Give Capital credit. They were tougher and executed better than we did tonight," Marietta head coach Jon VanderWal said. "We played extreme well the first five minutes but after that Capital controlled both ends of the floor. It's a tough loss but we need to pick ourselves up and respond the right way moving forward."
Marietta opened the game on a 11-2 run that spanned the opening five minutes of the game. The early offense came from Anthony Wallace as he scored seven of the 11 Pioneer points. After a three-pointer from Kyle Dixon gave Marietta a 14-4 edge, Capital responded to cut the Pioneer margin to 16-12, with just over 12 minutes remaining in the opening frame.
The Crusaders continued their strong play and took a 19-16 advantage forcing a Marietta timeout at the 10:30 mark of the first half.
Out of the break, the Pioneers regained a 21-19 lead behind back to back baskets from Dixon and Caleb Hoying. Capital answered with a 11-2 run that saw them regain a 30-23 edge with six minutes remaining in the half. The teams battled for the remainder of the half and the Crusaders led, 40-30, at the intermission.
The second half started as a back and forth battle as Capital maintained a 47-37 edge four minutes into the half. Marietta tried to mount a comeback but was unable a to cut into the Crusader's double-digit lead. The Pioneers managed to get within 10 points several times only to see Capital put the game away down the stretch.
The Pioneers were led by Hoying as he had 12 points, and six rebounds in the game. Dixon added 11 points, six rebounds and a block in the game. Tim Kreeger provided a spark off the bench as he notched eight points, three rebounds, a block and a steal in 15 minutes of action.
Marietta returns to the hardwood on Saturday (Feb. 2nd) when they host Ohio Northern University. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.