MARIETTA — For the second straight game against Marietta College Baldwin Wallace knocked down 15 3-pointers and for the second time in as many games against the No. 6 Pioneers, the Yellow Jackets came out on the short end of a 12-point decision.
Marietta College senior Mason Lydic led five Pioneer scorers in double figures with 23 points as they downed Baldwin Wallace 94-82 on Saturday afternoon at Ban Johnson Arena to remain unbeaten in Ohio Athletic Conference play.
Lydic, who was making his return to the lineup after missing three games due to injury, knocked down six three-pointers in the game including five in the opening half to help lead the Pioneers to their 14th consecutive victory.
“Mason’s missed our last three and half games and he is a little banged up and practiced yesterday for the first time and really came out here and put on a show,” said Pioneer head coach Jon VanderWal of Lydic. “They were making all of those three’s and luckily for us so was Mason. He was kind of combating everything they were doing and he really bailed us out today.”
For most of the first half the Pioneers would threaten to put a little distance between themselves and the Jackets only to have the visitors stay within striking distance by knocking down the long range shot.
Baldwin Wallace shot a blistering 60 percent from the floor in the first half including 8-of-13 from behind the mark but still found themselves trailing the Pioneers 45-40 at the break.
Outstanding defense and the ability to take care of the basketball limited the opportunities that Baldwin Wallace had on the offensive end as Marietta forced them into 18 turnovers while committing just seven of their own.
The Yellow Jackets came out firing in the second half as Jake Snyder brought them to within two points of the Pios when he canned a triple but Marietta answered with five straight points including buckets by seniors Jason Ellis and Tim Kreeger.
Baldwin Wallace managed to trim the lead to four with just under 12 minutes to play before the Pioneers finally were able to put together a run that would put a bit of daylight between them and the visitors.
Back-to back buckets by junior Brennen Crawford and Kreeger pushed the lead to nine before the Pioneers brought the huge crowd to its feet when
Ellis came up with a loose ball and floated an alley-oop pass to junior Sahmi Willoughby who caught the ball in mid-air and slammed it home to give Marietta their first double-digit lead of the game.
Willoughby had an outstanding game off of the bench for the Pios as he scored 16 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and four steals.
“Sahmi is a game changer. We bring him off the bench and he changes our team and gives us so much energy,” said VanderWal of the six-foot-three inch Willoughby. “He’s all over the glass and gives us a lot of energy on the defensive end and when he scores 16 points like he did today it gives us an added bonus.”
As long as it took the Pios to get the double-digit lead it wouldn’t take nearly as long to stretch it to 16 and they did so on back-to-to back buckets by Willoughby to pull in front 79-63 with less than six minutes to play.
The Pioneers stretched their lead to 18 at one time before settling for the 12-point victory.
Any chance of a Baldwin Wallace rally were squelched by the Pioneers ability to make their three throws as they made 26-of-32 in the game including a perfect 12-for-12 by senior Lukas Isaly, all coming in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Isaly joined Lydic and Willoughby in double figures with 16 points while Ellis added 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and Kreeger finished with 10 markers.
Mazzeo and Snyder connected on five 3-pointers apiece for Baldwin Wallace and finished with 27 and 17 points respectively.
The Pioneers improved to 16-2 overall and a perfect 11-0 in OAC play, maintaining their two game lead in the conference.
“We are right where we want to be for sure but we are just going to take things one game at a time,” said VanderWal. “We aren’t thinking about anything else other than how to win the next one and that’s how we have won 14 in a row.”
Marietta will look to continue their streaks at home on Wednesday night when they host Muskingum.
The Marietta Pioneers simply had no answer Saturday afternoon for Baldwin Wallace senior Lilly Edwards.
Edwards scored 20 points and yanked down six boards to lead the way for the Yellow Jackets as they downed the Pioneers for the second time this season with a commanding 74-48 win.
The No. 14 ranked Jackets took a double-digit lead into the intermission and then blew things open with a 22-12 third quarter as they improved their season mark to 13-3 while notching their 10th Ohio Athletic Conference victory against just one loss.
No. 19 ranked Marietta simply could not buy a bucket from long range as they connected on just one-of- 12 shots from behind the arc in the game while also struggling to take care of the basketball as they committed 24 turnovers on the day, twice as many as the Jackets.
Joining Edwards in double figures was Emily Lyon with 11 while a total of 12 Baldwin Wallace players scored at least one point.
Marietta was led in scoring by Erin Hahn with 13 while Kelly Levering added eight and Makenzie Wilson and Olivia Gribble chipped in with six points apiece.
The loss was the second in three games for the Lady Pios on the heels of a nine-game winning streak.
Marietta slips to 16-3 overall and 9-3 in the OAC and will travel on Wednesday night to Muskingum.