Men's Basketball: Raiders Knock Off #11 Marietta; Stay Undefeated at Home

Andrew Francesconi (Photo by Maggie O'Donnell)
Andrew Francesconi (Photo by Maggie O'Donnell)

ALLIANCE, Ohio --Mount Union's men's basketball team defeated No. 11 Marietta 78-66 in Ohio Athletic Conference competition Wednesday evening at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

The victory marked the 14th straight win at home and the first victory over a nationally ranked team since 2016 as the Purple Raiders move to 18-4 and 12-3 in the conference.

Senior Andrew Francesconi (Tallmadge) led the Raiders in points with 15 while junior Tanner Slack (New Concord/John Glenn) came off the bench to finish with 14 points. Fellow classmate Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow) recorded his first double-double of the season tallying 13 points and 13 assists. 

Anthony Wallace had a game-high 21 points for Marietta (18-4, 12-3 OAC).

It was a back and forth contest to start with Marietta jumping out to an 8-5 lead. The Raiders then rattled off a 13-3 run to take control of the game at 18-11. The Pioneers responded with a 16-6 run to make the score 27-24 in favor of Marietta. The Raiders retaliated and closed the half with a 14-4 run to head into the intermission break up 38-31.

A layup from Slack with 15:12 remaining in the second half gave the Raiders a ten point advantage at 46-36. The Raiders pushed the margin to 15 with back-to-back layups from freshman Mario Caywood (Streetsboro/ Benedictine) and Gurley at the 9:56 mark. Marietta would get as close as nine with 6:37 left in regulation before the Raiders pushed the lead to back 15 to put the game away and go on to the 78-66 victory.

It marked the tenth game of the season that Mount Union shot at least 50-percent from the floor as they went 29-of-54 (11-of-15 from the free throw line).

Next up, the Raiders travel to Heidelberg on Saturday, February 9 in a doubleheader with the Mount Union women's basketball team; men tip-off at 3:00 p.m.