MARIETTA, Ohio - The Mount Union women's basketball team dropped a close one to No. 22 Marietta 74-72 on Wednesday night at the Ban Johnson Arena.
The Purple Raiders (6-8, 3-4 OAC) were led by senior guard Casey Morrissette (Wakeman/Firelands) as she tallied 17 points, four assists and four rebounds. Junior guard Rachel Tinkey (Canfield/Canfield) also scored double digits with 16 points while grabbing a career and season-high of 10 rebounds.
The nationally-ranked Pioneers (13-1, 6-1 OAC) were led by Brooke Borich with 24 points.
Mount Union played solid defense against Marietta, forcing the Pioneers to put up tough shots that would not quite fall. The Raiders offense was fueled by Tinkey who scored 10 first-quarter points and closed out the quarter for Mount Union by scoring the final seven. Marietta would not lead by more than two and went into the second quarter ahead 21-20.
The second quarter remained tight with no differential greater than three points. Marietta began to hit outside shots, but Tinkey would respond and continue to shoot 100% from behind the arc. Offensive rebounding allowed Mount Union to get a number of second-chance looks as they would trail by just one point going into halftime at 38-37.
Marietta came out strong to start the third quarter, taking the lead at 45-40. Guards Elena Rauhe (Seven Hills/Padua Franciscan) and Zanny Sauter (Avon/Avon) connected for seven straight points to put Mount Union up 51-49 with just under four minutes remaining. The Pioneers would respond with a few baskets of their own until Tori Rappach (Warren/Howland) put their offensive surge to a hault with back-to-back three's. The Raiders would lead 57-54.
Free-throw opportunities would benefit Marietta throughout the fourth quarter and give them their largest lead of the night at seven. Mount Union would rally as defensive stops by Morrissette allowed her to find teammates for open looks. With less than a minute to go, a three-pointer by Corie Inverso (Danville/Danville), from Morrissette, would get the Raiders within two but would not be enough as Marietta would hold Mount Union off at 74-72.
Mount Union will stay on the road as they travel to Bexley, Ohio and face the Capital Crusaders on Saturday, January 13 at 3:00 p.m.