Updated Thu, Jan 9, 2014 12:53 am
The Marietta men's basketball team was handed its first Ohio Athletic Conference blow on Wednesday night. Ohio Northern fought off a second-half comeback by the Pioneers to hold on to win on its home floor, 78-73.
Four Polar Bears scored in double figures in the win, tops among them being Lucas Pennington. The junior forward shot a scorching 7-for-12 from the field to finish with 17 points.
Marietta was, of course, without star point guard Tyler Hammond after he was arrested Saturday. Keith Richardson started in place of Hammond, contributing a 17-point performance in the loss.
The game was relatively close throughout the first half despite a lot of turnovers by the Pioneers. Neither team stretched a lead past six until Ohio Northern went on a run toward the end of the half. Marietta went into the locker room trailing by 10.
The Polar Bears maintained an eight-point lead up until the 14-minute mark of the second half when Marietta started to cut into the deficit. The Pioneers slashed the lead to as little as three at one point, but never any closer.
The place where Marietta was beat was shooting. The Pios shot a measly 38 percent from the floor while Ohio Northern set the gym ablaze at 50 percent.
Ohio Northern also scored 24 points off of Marietta turnovers, making things all the more difficult for the Pios.
Marietta is still 4-1 in the conference despite the loss and is now tied with Wilmington for second place in the OAC.
The Pioneers will look to bounce back against Baldwin Wallace on Saturday. Tipoff Saturday is at 3 p.m.