MARIETTA, Ohio – The #19 ranked Marietta College men's basketball team climbed back into a tie for second place in the Ohio Athletic Conference standings after blasting rival Muskingum, 98-73, Wednesday (Feb. 13) evening in Ban Johnson Arena.
"It was nice to see the ball go through the hoop tonight. We've really been struggling shooting the basketball," Pioneer head coach Jon VanderWal said. "We had a nice post presence today. Tim Kreeger stepped up and Caleb Hoyng was hitting shots."
With one game left in the regular season, the Pioneers are 13-4 (19-5 overall) in the OAC and are tied with Mount Union and Wilmington. Capital is in first place at 14-3. Muskingum falls to 8-16 on the season and 4-13 in the OAC.
Muskingum jumped out to an early lead and maintained it through much of the first half. The Muskies led by as many as seven points, 27-20 and 29-22, midway through the period.
Christian James hit a three-pointer cutting the deficit to 29-25 and triggering an 11-0 Pioneer run. Kreeger scored five during the spurt and Mel Shuler capped the run with a trey to put Marietta ahead, 33-29, with 4:16 remaining in the period.
The Pioneers gradually increased their lead. A three-pointer from Hoyng, one of four he hit in the game, made it 40-33 with under three minutes to play. Mason Lydic finished out the half with eight straight Pioneer points giving Marietta a 48-38 advantage at halftime.
Caleb Hoying opened the second half with a three and a Kreeger layup forced an early Muskie timeout as the Pioneers led, 53-41. Marietta continued to stretch its lead, and held a 64-45 advantage at the 15:38 mark of the second half.
The Pioneers continued to play well as they held a 72-55 lead at the 9:40 mark of the second half. A 9-2 Marietta run propelled the Pioneers to an 81-57 lead, which forced another Muskingum timeout. The run was highlighted by a three-pointer from Dixon.
Out of the break, the teams battle down the stretch and Austin Rutecki and Karson Synder hit three-pointers late in the game. Marietta won the game, 98-73.
Kreeger led all scorers with 21 points and grabbed six rebounds and added a pair of blocks.
The Pioneers were led by Kreeger as he had a game high 21 points, grabbed six rebounds, and had a pair of blocks. Hoying added 18 points on 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Lydic pitched in with 13 points, four rebounds, and a pair of assists.
Jayson Peoples led the Muskies with 12 points. Tyler Bardall added 11 points and Brandon Keyes finished with 10.
For the game, Marietta shot 54.2% (39-of-72) from the floor, 40.6% (13-of-32) from three-point range and 53.8% (7-of-13) at the line. The Muskies were 28-of-64 (43.8%) from the floor, 9-of-26 (34.6%) behind the arc and 8-of-11 (72.7%) at the line.
The Pioneers dominated the glass outrebounding Muskingum 45-28. The Pioneers forced 10 Muskie turnovers, while committing eight of their own.
Marietta returns to the court on Saturday (Feb. 16th) when Heidelberg University visits Ban Johnson Arena for Senior Day. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.