Men's Basketball: Shooting Struggles Slow Mount Union Down Against No. 19 Marietta

JJ Kukura Being Honored for Scoring his 1,000th point earlier in the season
JJ Kukura Being Honored for Scoring his 1,000th point earlier in the season

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Mount Union's men's basketball team dropped to 8-6 overall and 4-3 in the OAC after a 78-57 loss against No. 19 Marietta in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

The Purple Raiders were led by senior JJ Kukura (Alliance) who recorded 18 points on a night where he was honored for scoring his 1,000th point earlier in the season. Sophomore Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow) was the only other Raider in double figures with 11. 

Marietta, who was led by Kyle Dixon with 23, DeVaughn Wingard with 17, and Dillon Young with 14, advances to 11-3 overall and 6-2 in the OAC

With the game tied at nine at the 17 minute-mark, Marietta went on a 26-9 run to open up a 17 point lead at 35-18 with just under four minutes remaining in the half.  Each team scored seven points in the remaining four minutes to make the score 42-25 at half.

In the half, Marietta shot 15-of-26 (.577) and 6-of-9 (.667) from distance while Mount Union shot 10-of-30 (.333) and 4-of-12 (.333) from distance.

Marietta opened the second half on an 18-5 run to push their lead up to 30 at 60-30 with 14:09 remaining in the game. Mount then went on a 13-3 run to cut the lead to 20 at 63-43. The Pioneers opened their largest lead of the game at 31 with an 11-0 run at the 4:21 mark.

The Raiders shot just 34.8 percent (23-of-66) from the floor and 29.6 percent (8-of-27) from distance. Marietta shot 52.8 percent (28-of-53) and 58 percent (11-of-19) from distance.

Mount Union stays at home for another OAC matchup as Capital comes to Alliance on Saturday, January 13 at 2 p.m.