BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball team fell short in a comeback effort to the visiting No. 13-Nationally ranked Marietta Pioneers, 71-65 at the Lou Higgins Center, inside Urpsrung Gymnasium.
Three BW (11-6, 5-5 OAC) Yellow Jackets scored in double figures, led by junior forward Tyler Colombo (Strasburg/ Tuscarawas Central Catholic), who poured in a game-high tying 16 points and added six rebounds. Sophomore guard Matthew Dimitrijevs (Broadview Heights/Brecksville Broadview Heights) chipped in with 16 as well and senior two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference and Academic All-OAC guard Jay Battle (Gahanna/Lincoln) tallied 10.
Marietta (15-2, 9-1 OAC) was led by sophomore Jason Ellis who had 16 points, while senior two-time All-OAC guard Anthony Wallace recorded 13. Senior guard Mel Shuler and sophomore forward Kyle Matoszkia each had 10.
The Yellow Jackets established their first lead of 5-4 off an old-fashioned three point play by Colombo at 18:28. BW's offense hit a cold streak as the Pioneers answered with a 25-10 run, giving them a 29-15 lead with under five minutes in the first half. BW responded quickly with back-to-back Dimitrijevs' threes to shrink the Pioneer to 29-21 at the 3:21 mark. Marietta closed out the half on a 10-4 run and went into intermission ahead 39-25.
BW came out hot in the second half, sinking five of their first six shots, trimming Marietta's lead to 44-37 and forcing a Pioneer timeout at 15:55. Marietta's timeout sparked a 14-7 run for the Pioneers as they grabbed a 58-44 advantage at the nine minute juncture. After a timeout from head coach Tom Heil, the Yellow Jackets went on a 15-9 spurt over the next seven minutes, bringing the score to 59-67, Pioneers with less than two minutes in the game. BW battled back and chipped the lead to four twice in the final minutes, but could not close the gap, falling to the Pioneers by a score of 71-65.
BW's next game is on the road against Heidelberg University on Wednesday, January 23 at 7 p.m and will be back home to host Muskingum University on Saturday, January 26 at 4 p.m.