Dixon Passes Milestone As Pioneers Down Cardinals

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The Marietta Pioneers were the comeback kids Wednesday night, as they were able to erase a 10 point halftime deficit to beat the Otterbein Cardinals in overtime 76-71 in Westerville, Ohio.

This was Marietta’s second straight game where they needed extra time to declare a winner. The Pioneers fell 103-102 to Wilmington in double-overtime on Saturday.

“It was a rough loss,” senior guard Tori Dixon said. “But we came ready to work hard the next two days of preparation and learned from our mistakes and that is what got us the win today. We were hungry for the victory.”

The Pioneers came into this game losing eight of their last ten games, including five losses in their last five games.

Dixon also scored her 1,000th point in her Pioneer career Wednesday with a three pointer with 3:21 left in overtime to give Marietta a 69-65 lead.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment and I am so blessed to be a part of the team that I am on,” Dixon said. “My teammates and the coaches push and make me better every day. They made this accomplishment possible and I can’t thank my family and my basketball family enough.”

Both teams opened the game trading baskets, but Otterbein’s defense made the Pioneers settle for the three ball. Marietta had trouble getting in rhythm from behind the arc as they went 1-11 in the first half.

Despite their struggles shooting the ball, Marietta was able to stay in the game. Going into the locker room, the Cardinals led 32-22.

Head coach Stacia Shrider must have really connected with her team at the half, because her team came out of the locker room looking motivated.

“She came in and told us that we weren’t playing our best basketball in the first half,” senior guard Page Lamb said. “She fired us up and got out heads ready to play for the second half.”

A Heather Booth jumper capped and 8-0 run to pull the Pioneers within one with 13:10 left in the second half.

Mackenzie Kiser hit a jumper with 9:48 left in the half to tie the game at 45. It was the first time the game was tied since it was 0-0.

The Cardinals responded and went on an 8-0 run of their own to push their led back to 8 with 5:02 remaining in the half.

Otterbein then went cold from the field, giving the Pioneers a chance to get back in the game.

With three seconds remaining in the game, Heather Booth stole the ball for the Pioneers but her shot fell short and it was time for overtime.

Marietta took their first lead of the game with 4:41 left in the overtime period of a Jessica Brogan layup. After finally taking the lead, the Pioneers never let it go.

Marietta outscored the Cardinals 13-10 the rest of the overtime period to pull out their first win in their last five games.

“I think this was a big turning point for us,” Lamb stated. “We were able to battle back from a deficit and win in OT. It shows how much heart our team has, and how much desire we have to win.”

“This win will help us focus on the tournament and get us ready for Ohio Northern on Saturday,” Dixon said. “We will come prepared and ready to go every day at practice so we can play more than 7 games.”

Dixon led all Pioneer scores with 17 points. Candice Alexander and Heather Booth each added 14 points of their own. Jessica Brogan had 12 points and 4 rebounds.

Amariah Huck had a double-double for the Cardinals as she had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor Pifher contributed 14 points of her own while pulling down 2 rebounds.

The Marietta Pioneers (9-9, 3-8) will try to ride this momentum and turn their season around as the travel to Ada, Ohio to take on Ohio Northern on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.