Updated Tue, Feb 11, 2014 9:32 pm
The Marietta Pioneers (10-11, 4-10) will look for their fourth win in 2014 as they welcome the Capital Crusaders (13-7, 10-4) into Ban Johnson Arena Wednesday night.
The Pios come into the game with a record of 3-7 since the New Year, while the Crusaders post a 7-3 record, with five of those wins coming in their last six games.
“The W’s will start to come,” Marietta head coach Stacia Shrider said. “We need to do the little things better. We need to play better defensively and rebound the basketball. On offense we need to make sure we are playing two halves and put a full game together.”
“Every team goes through a rough patch and that is where we are stuck at right now,” senior point guard Paige Lamb said.
This is the second meeting between these two teams this season. The Crusaders pulled out the 74-72 win in thrilling fashion on their home court on Jan. 22.
With the game tied at 69 apiece and 22 seconds remaining in the game, Capital senior Jamie Canton stole a Marietta inbound and was immediately fouled. Canton hit both of her free throws and Capital never relinquished the lead.
Freshman Jenna Erwin was big for the Crusaders in the game, scoring 25 points off the bench while shooting 5 for 8 from behind the arc. Coming into that game, Erwin was only averaging 4.2 points on the season. Canton had 12 points and 4 steals on the night. The other senior scoring threat for the Crusaders, Cookie Geroski, was held scoreless on the night.
“We have prepared hard these last two days and everyone has come focused to practice,” senior guard Tori Dixon said. “We are ready to avenge our last loss and get a home game win.”
If the Pioneers want any success against Capital Wednesday night, they will have to keep the lethal senior duo of Canton and Geroski.
“They are two very good basketball players,” Shrider said. “We can’t focus on those two players; we need defend as a team and stop their whole team. We need to take care of the Crusader offense as a whole.”
The time is now if the Pioneers look to build any steam going into the rest of the season and into the OAC tournament.
After this battle against Capital, the Pioneers have three more games—including their home finale Saturday—against Baldwin Wallace and Mount Union before closing their season against John Carroll in University Heights, Ohio.
However, the Ohio Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament is held on their home floor inside Ban Johnson Arena. If the Pios are able to pick up some steam in their last four games, Marietta will have the momentum and confidence to have a say in who wins the OAC title.