MARIETTA — It was a tight game early on but eventually sixth-ranked Marietta pulled away for a 102-68 win over Wilmington Thursday night in an Ohio Athletic Conference men’s basketball semifinal game at Ban Johnson Arena.
Marietta has won six straight games over Wilmington, now 16-39 all-time against the Pioneers.
Wilmington finishes its season with a 4-10 record. Marietta, 11-1, advances to the OAC championship against Ohio Northern.
The Fightin’ Quakers defeated Heidelberg University 62-58 in a quarterfinal game in Tiffin on Tuesday. The Pioneers handled Otterbein University 88-71 in a quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Jeffery Mansfield led WC with 14 points, eight of those coming at the free throw line. He also had four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Todd Larkin had 12 points. Noah Dado grabbed five rebounds. Matt Smith dished out three assists.
Marietta hit 38 of 72 from the field, including 14 of 28 beyond the three-point arc.
Six Pioneers were in double figure points but none scored more than Mason Lydic’s 13 points.
On Thursday, Marietta seemed to be the prohibitive favorite. But the Quakers were right in it early. Jackson Todd hit a three and then Jeffery Mansfield had a stickback to get WC within 11-10.
Marietta increased the lead to six and threatened to run away, 23-17, but Bilal Sow, with another Mansfield assist, scored inside. Andrew Clark, Matt Smith assisting, followed with a layin and it was 23-21 with 11:37 to play in the first half.
The Pioneers scored 10 unanswered points in just over two minutes, 33-21. With a 40-29 difference late in the half, Marietta again put together a big run, 12 straight, to take control of the game for good, up 57-37 at the intermission.
With the first six points of the second half, Marietta completed a 23-8 outburst and held a 63-37 lead.