Marietta Faces Critical Conference Showdown With Mount Union

By
Blaise Weber

Dateline
Updated Tue, Feb 18, 2014 5:49 pm

The two best teams in the Ohio Athletic Conference will meet on Wednesday night in Marietta. The Pioneers have Ohio Northern to thank after its win over Mount Union gave them a chance to tie it all up at the top of the OAC. The Pioneers have a 13-3 conference record and will get one more shot at the Raiders on Wedndesay, who are 14-2 in conference.

The Pioneers faced the Raiders earlier this season in a battle that went to the very end, as the Raiders edged Marietta, 73-72, in Mount Union's home gym. In that contest Marietta shot just 36 percent as a team, which is well below their average. Luckily for the Pioneers, they will not have to deal with the Raiders’ fans this time around.

The Raiders got a big performance in their win out of guard TJ Gillespie. He posted 21 points against Marietta and knocked down four 3-pointers against a defense that is usually proficient at stopping its opponents’ best scorer. This go-round, Marietta will definitely be focused on stopping Gillespie.

Marietta did not shoot particularly well in its first matchup with Mount Union but the Pioneers did get some good play out of Andy Dollman who had 16 points, and Garrett Stephenson who dropped 14. The Pioneers are, however, coming off a fantastic shooting performance against Baldwin Wallace, in which they shot over 56 percent from the floor. The Pioneers hope to bring some of that momentum into the game.

This game will most likely decide who gets the first seed in the OAC tournament, so both teams will undoubtedly come ready for Wednesday’s crucial matchup.

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