Late push propels Quakers to 76-66 win over Pioneers

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington College men’s basketball team out-rebounded Marietta College 50-35 and outscored the Pioneers 43-30 in the second half en route to a 76-66 Ohio Athletic Conference victory at Fred Raizk Arena Saturday afternoon.

The win was the Quakers’ first over Marietta in the previous nine meetings and second in the last decade.

“Our guys have been working, listening, taking hard coaching and today was a reflection of that,” WC head coach Micah Mills said. “This group is resilient, and that is one of the many things our staff loves about this team.”

Wilmington finished 25-of-62 (40.3 percent) from the field to go along with 8-of-25 (32.0 percent) from three-point distance and 18-of-27 (66.7 percent) at the free throw line.

“To compete in the OAC, you have to rebound the basketball,” said Mills. “We knew that was going to be huge key to today.”

Abdul Kanu led all scorers with 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks while Bryce Bird had a season-best 19 points. Obed Achirem added 10 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals while Domenic Farley chipped in 11 points off the bench.

Jac Alexander led Marietta with 16 points in defeat.

Wilmington (5-8, 1-5 OAC) heads to Muskingum Wednesday.

Neither team led by more than a possession for the first 15 minutes. It wasn’t until a Farley three-pointer off an Achirem steal at the 3:52 mark that either side led by more than three points. The Pioneers ended the half on a 7-2 run capped by a Danny Flood three-pointer to give the visitors a 36-33 lead at halftime.

Marietta took a 42-36 lead on a Sahmi Willoughby layup at the 16:39 mark, but that was the visitors’ largest lead of the contest. The hosts answered with a 10-0 run over the next two minutes. After both teams traded baskets, an offensive putback pulled the Pioneers within 48-46, but a Lucas Doty layup followed by two Collin Barker free throws forced another Marietta timeout.

David Sanford hit a jump shot right out of the timeout, but three minutes later, Kanu hit consecutive three-pointers to push Wilmington’s advantage to 63-50 with 7:27 to play. Marietta got as close as 65-61, but five consecutive points from Bryce Bird sealed the win.