Mrietta clips Capital 81-69 for trip to OAC Tournament Championship game

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MARIETTA, Ohio — The No. 2 seed Marietta College defeated sixth-seeded Capital University, 81-69, Thursday (Feb. 22) evening in the semifinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament. The win propels Marietta into the championship game for the first time in program history.

The Pioneers improve to 23-4 on the season and will travel to top-seeded Ohio Northern University for the championship game on Saturday (Feb. 24). The Polar Bears downed No. 4 Otterbein by the score of 80-72 in the semifinals. Tip off on Saturday is set for 3 p.m.

"It feels good to be going to our first OAC championship game," Marietta head coach Kole Vivian said. "Our guard play was really good tonight. When our starting guards are able to score like that we are a tough team to beat. On defense, we were able to put pressure on them and force turnovers."

Seniors Brooke Borich and Amisha Herd led the Marietta offense. Borich hit three from behind the arc and finished with a game-high 22 points. Herd also drained three triples and finished with 19 points. Herd also grabbed five rebounds and had six steals.

Shay Lett chipped in with 10 points. Corrie Burkhardt pulled down eight boards to go along with four assists and three steals, while Alexis Enochs had six points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

Caroline Taphorn led four Crusaders in double figures with 17 points. Erin Risner and Cassidy Bosch scored 14 points apiece, while Regan Stonerock notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Both teams got off to a slow start and the Crusaders held a five-point lead, 12-7, at the end of the first quarter. Capital pushed the margin to nine points, 20-11, two minutes into the second quarter.

Marietta finally got rolling and went on a 15-2 run to take a 26-22 lead with just five minutes left in the first half. The lead bounced back and forth the rest of the period and a pair of free throws from Lett in the final seconds gave MC a 35-32 lead at halftime.

Lett and Borich hit three-pointers to start the third quarter extending the Pioneer lead to nine points, 41-32. Capital cut the deficit to one, but trailed by five, 57-52, heading into the fourth quarter.

The Pioneers never trailed in the fourth quarter and led by as many as 13 points down the stretch.

For the game, Marietta shot 44.8% (30-of-67) from the floor, 45.0% (9-of-20) from three-point range and 63.2% (12-of-19) from the line. The Crusaders were 26-of-53 (49.1%) from the floor, 4-of-6 (66.7%) behind the arc and 13-of-18 (72.2%) at the line.

Capital held a slim 36-34 advantage on the glass. The Pioneers turned the ball over 14 times, while Capital committed 25 turnovers.