By: Erin Madden
BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball team lost to No. 10 nationally-ranked Marietta College in the Ohio Athletic Conference opener for both teams by a final score of 86-76 in the Ursprung Gymnasium inside the Lou Higgins Center.
BW (2-3, 0-1 OAC) had four players score in double figures led by senior forward Tyler Colombo (Strasburg/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) with 16 points. Junior guards Luke Schaefer (Medina) and Matt Dimitrijevs (Broadview Hts./Brecksville-Broadview Hts.) had identical marks of 15 points while senior Academic All-OAC guard Michael Quiring (Brunswick) poured in 10 points of his own. On the glass, junior forward Drew Sova (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) pulled down a game-high tying 10 rebounds.
Marietta (4-0, 1-0 OAC) had five players score in double digits led by sophomore guard Lukas Isaly's game-high 21 points. Junior guard Jason Ellis added 18 points, sophomore guard Mason Lydic chipped in 17 points, senior forward Caleb Hoyng tallied 13 points and junior forward Tim Kreeger rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points.
Both teams were evenly matched to start the game before Marietta's hot three-point shooting got the Pioneers out to an 18-5 lead at the 15:23 mark. Senior Academic All-OAC forward Jack Lostoski (Uniontown/Lake) put an end to the run by splitting a pair of free throws, which ended up being the only point scored as both teams stalled for almost five minutes. BW found its three-point stroke too with crucial treys from Dimitrijevs, senior guard Zach Cebula (Brunswick) and Quiring that helped to bring the Yellow Jackets within one point at 20-19 with 7:54 left in the half. Recovering on offense themselves, the Pioneers quickly built back up to a six-point advantage just a minute later. Schaefer then put the team on his back with a personal 7-0 run to tie the game at 26-26 while Dimitrijevs hit yet another triple for BW's first lead since the early minutes of the game. Colombo forced a Marietta timeout when he made it a six-point Yellow Jacket advantage with a three-pointer of his own. However, the Pioneers scored the final six points of the half to even things up at 32-32 heading into the locker room.
Sova got the second half off to an electrifying start with a dunk which was quickly followed by a Colombo three-pointer. Meanwhile, Marietta continued with its hot shooting from deep to stay within striking distance of the Yellow Jackets until the Pioneers put together a 7-0 run for a four-point advantage, 45-41, at the 16:23 mark. BW and Marietta then traded small one-point leads, spanning almost three minutes of action, until Dimitrijevs banked in a three-pointer with 12:47 remaining. Quiring followed with his own triple on the next possession for a momentum swing and a five-point Yellow Jacket lead. A Cebula three-pointer helped BW hold on to that five-point advantage at 57-52 but Marietta went off on a 9-1 run to regain the lead. Quiring nailed a trey to tie the game for the final time at 61-61 with 8:27 left in the game. However, Marietta found its rhythm and began to pull away in the game, eventually building up to a 10-point lead with 4:15 on the clock. Dimitrijevs kept the game close in the waning minutes, hitting two three-pointers to bring BW within four points, 76-72, at the 2:00 mark. Marietta was clutch from the charity stripe, though, to seal an 86-76 victory.
BW is back in action on Wednesday, December 4, when it travels to Tiffin for an OAC game against Heidelberg University inside Seiberling Gymnasium at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets return home on Saturday, December 7, when they host an OAC game against Muskingum University at 3 p.m.