Poor Second Half Dooms Pioneers In Crucial Matchup With Purple Raiders

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The Marietta College Pioneers dropped their pivotal matchup with the Mount Union Purple Raiders on Wednesday night by a score of 81-77.

After a ridiculous first half of shooting, the second half took a turn for the worst.

The two teams played each other very tightly all the way through the first half, and both were shooting well above 40 percent. Marietta was able to take a three-point lead into the locker room.

Marietta and Mount Union stayed close until the nine-minute mark, where Mount Union got a lead and did not look back. The Purple Raiders were able to push their lead to as much as seven, but Marietta hung in until the end. The Pioneers could never quite cut the lead enough, and the Raiders managed to knock down enough from the charity stripe to win.

The second half turned into more of a fouling contest than a basketball game, as both teams ended up in the double bonus half way through. Normally this type of game would have played to Marietta’s favor, as it has shot 79 percent from the stripe this year, but tonight it only managed to shoot 67 percent. 

TJ Gillespie was able to torch the Pioneers for the second time this year, as he scored 16 points, and shot 50 percent from the floor. The Raiders had three others in double digit scoring.

Garrett Stephenson and Luis Garcia were both big factors in the Marietta offense on Wednesday. Stephenson had 16 points while shooting 56 percent from the floor. Luis Garcia added 16 while shooting perfectly from the free-throw stripe.

These two teams played two very close games this year and it is not debatable that they are the two best teams in the Ohio Athletic Conference. It would not surprise any fans if these two meet up deep in the OAC tournament.