Updated Sat, Feb 22, 2014 6:28 pm
With March knocking on the door, college basketball teams all over the country are getting ready for their conference tournaments. Today was no different for the Marietta Pioneers and John Carroll Blue Streaks.
The Pioneers and Blue Streaks came into Saturday’s clash knowing that it would be their final tune-up before the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament that starts on Tuesday in Marietta.
The Pioneers came into the game losers of five out of their last six games and struggling to find any offense. The Blue Streaks came into the game winning seven of their last eight games.
Offensive woes and turnovers proved to be the downfall of the Pioneers once again, as they end the season on a five game losing streak. During the losing streak, Marietta is only averaging 68 points per game, which is down from their season average of 74 points per game.
As both teams went to the locker room after a roller coaster first half, Marietta held a slim 36-32 lead. Then it was all downhill for the Pioneers.
The Blue Streaks came out of the locker room hot and opened the second half on a 14-6 run to give John Carroll a 46-42 lead over Marietta.
From there on out, Marietta could not find the basket. John Carroll answered their 14-6 run with a 27-1 run to stifle any chance of a Marietta comeback.
During the span of the 27-1 run, Marietta went nine minutes and eight seconds without a field goal. A layup by Tori Dixon with 6:05 left in the game ended John Carroll’s run and Marietta’s scoring drought.
However, the Blue Streaks lead was too much for Marietta to overcome and John Carroll put it in cruise control to pull out the 88-65 victory.
“John Carroll played really well,” senior Paige Lamb said. “We needed to take better care of the ball instead of having so many turnovers because they executed off of them.”
Freshman Tristin Toman led Marietta with 14 points. Tori Dixon was shut down in the second half as she only had two points the entire half. Dixon finished with 12 points and three rebounds on the night.
Senior Missy Spahar was huge for the Blue Streaks as she had 24 points and was able to pull down nine rebounds. Beth Switzer had a double double for John Carroll as she contributed 17 points of her own and grabbed 10 boards.
With the win, John Carroll clinched the number one seed for the OAC tournament on Tuesday. Marietta failed to clinch a tournament berth after Otterbein’s loss Saturday against Heidelberg.
With no chance in the OAC tournament, seniors Dixon and Lamb suited up for the last time today.
“I am really happy of all the people I had the opportunity to play with and get to know,” Lamb said. “College basketball is a privilege and a lot of individuals do not get the opportunity to do it. I feel very blessed to participate in D3 atheltics. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive team this year. I’m glad I went out with a team full of wonderful young ladies that care so much about basketball and each other.”
“I don’t know what I would have done without my teammates and family,” Dixon stated. “They made it unforgettable and I couldn’t ask for a better team even though our season ended the way it did. They are all amazing girls and will do amazing things not only on the floor, but in their lives. I am very blessed to call them my friends and have them in my life for as long as I live.”