Streak on line against league-leading Marietta

January 18, 2013

Junior Klarke Ransome scored a career-high 17 points in the first meeting this season. (Wilmington file photo/Randy Sarvis)

Junior Klarke Ransome scored a career-high 17 points in the first meeting this season. (Wilmington file photo/Randy Sarvis)

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Wilmington men’s basketball team is ready to tackle the part of the schedule that tripped the Quakers up in the month December. (Game Notes/Live Stats)

Wilmington went 1-4 against the next five teams on tap as the Ohio Athletic Conference schedule turns over. Three of those four losses were at home, including a 64-57 loss to Saturday’s opponent, Marietta. The Pioneers are tied with Capital for first in the OAC with an 8-1 record. Senior Jacob Owens banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Marietta to the 69-68 win over Capital Wednesday.

The Fightin’ Quakers shot just 34 percent from the field in the loss, shooing 11-of-32 from the field in both halves.

“We have to make both shots for sure,” said Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt. “We have to finish around the basket. We struggled with their physical play. We just didn’t handle it well.”

In the victory over Wilmington on December 8, Owens was one of three Pioneers in double figures with 14 points. Tyler Hammond led the way with 15 points, while J.J. Martin registered 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Martin is leading the team on the season with 15.8 points per game, the only scorer in double figures for a team that second in the OAC with 78.6 points per game. The Pioneers trail John Carroll by a tenth of a point. Shooting the ball from deep is one of their specialties as they average 24 three-point attempts per game.

The main reason for Marietta’s success comes on the defensive end where they are only yielding 69.2 points per game. Marietta leads the OAC in scoring margin, beating opponents by 9.3 points per contest. Taking care of the ball has also benefited the Pioneers as they turn the ball over a league low 10.7 times per game.

Junior Klarke Ransome (Richwood, OH/North Union) turned in his best performance of the season with a career-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Senior Brandon Candella (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) added 12 points, and junior Taylor Wellman (Norwood, OH/Norwood) added a season-high 11 points.

Junior Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) was held to a season-low two points in the first meeting. He only attempted three shots in 21 minutes of action.

“He got into foul trouble and it made him tentative,” said Hunt. “I expect him to play better Saturday.”