Updated Thu, Dec 5, 2013 5:20 pm
In its conference opener Wednesday evening, Marietta rallied back to beat the Otterbein Cardinals, 71-69. With the win, the Pioneers improved to 6-1 on the season while Otterbein dropped to .500 at 3-3.
Trailing by five at the half, Marietta turned to senior Tori Dixon to spark a comeback. Dixon had a game-high 26 points, including 19 in the second half. With 14:20 left in the second half, Dixon hit a 3-pointer and tied the game up at 42 and on the ensuing possession, hit another to take the lead, 45-42.
Marietta head coach Stacia Shrider’s crew went on an 11-2 run and took all momentum away from the Cardinals at the time. Late in the game, with 1:12 left, Otterbein went on an 11-3 run of its own to cut the lead to 69-67. This set up a dramatic finish.
With seven seconds remaining, Otterbein had a chance to win the game. Chelsea Reed pulled down a defensive rebound and pushed to ball up court on a pass to Madi Miller for a last second shot. Miller just got her shot off and the buzzer sounded as the ball was in the air. The ball bounced off the rim, resulting in a Marietta victory.
Dixon tied her career high with 26 points while committing only one turnover. She had help from Heather Booth, who compiled 13 points and five boards. Candice Alexander also chimed in with 11 points of her own.
Marietta once again outrebounded its opponent by a margin of 45-37. The Pios had 19 offensive rebounds, which led to 21 second-chance points. Marietta’s defense was the key factor in the win, forcing Otterbein to commit 11 turnovers.
The Pioneers hope to keep this winning streak alive, as they travel to Wilmington College on Saturday, Dec. 7, for a conference showdown with tipoff set for 3 p.m.