Marietta, Ohio – February 24, 2011 – Nationally ranked Marietta College topped Heidelberg University 70-55 in an Ohio Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Semifinal match up in Ban Johnson Arena in Marietta, Ohio. Marietta, ranked 13th in the nation according to D3Hoops.com, improved to 24-3 overall and Heidelberg closes out the year at 12-15.
Marietta is the top-seed of the eight-team tournament, while the Berg was the five-seed. Heidelberg found a spot in the semifinals with an 80-77 double overtime victory over no. 4 seeded Ohio Northern University on Tuesday. The Pioneers topped eighth-seeded Wilmington College 84-73.
Heidelberg was making its 50th appearance in the OAC Tournament, including its fifth straight, with the last three coming under the guidance of head coach Anthony Gholson.
It was a tough outing from the field in the first half for Heidelberg. Heidelberg’s Darion Capers (Dayton, Ohio / Trotwood-Madison) hit a jumper to knot the game at 4-4 with 16:07 on the clock. But the Berg went 6:24 without a field goal, while the Pioneers built a 19-6 advantage.
Marietta extended its lead to as many as 20 points on two occasions, but a Kyle Tuley (Berea, Ohio / Berea) layup in the final minute cut the host Pioneers lead at the intermission to 39-20.
In the first half, Heidelberg connected on just 8-of-30 shots from the field (26.7%), while Marietta was 16-of-28 (57.1%). However, the Berg battled on the glass, out rebounding the Pioneers 21-15, including a 9-1 edge on the offensive end.
Heidelberg came out of the locker room strong in the second half. Givner got the scoring started with two free throws to ignite six straight points to pull within 13, 39-26, with 18:28 on the clock.
Marietta responded with back-to-back scoring possessions and eventually pushed its lead back to 20 at 53-33 with less than 10 minutes left in the contest. Heidelberg would not quit and pulled within 12 points in the final two minutes, but could not get any closer.
For the game, Heidelberg shot 30.0% (18-of-60) from the field, while Marietta hit 52.8% (28-of-53). On the boards, Heidelberg held a 38-32 advantage.
Leading the way for the Berg was Givner with 20 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Givner also dished out five assists and had four steals. Capers added nine points, while Nate Davis (Dayton, Ohio / Stivers) led the way on the glass with 12 boards.
Marietta was led by Kevin Knab with 16 points and five rebounds.
Heidelberg will lose three to graduation including Tuley, Derrick Flynn (Cleveland, Ohio / Padua Franciscan) and Andy Emrhein (Seven Hills, Ohio / Padua Franciscan).