Capital’s Valiant Comeback Effort Comes Up Short

Guard AJ Dixon rises up for a lay-in against Heidelberg on Dec. 4, 2013, at the Capital Center in Columbus, Ohio. (Jeff Mills photo).
Guard AJ Dixon rises up for a lay-in against Heidelberg on Dec. 4, 2013, at the Capital Center in Columbus, Ohio. (Jeff Mills photo).


The Capital University men's basketball team forced overtime with an improbable comeback Tuesday night but was unable to outlast Maryville (Tenn.), falling 109-102 in double overtime on the first day of the Don Lane Classic at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky.


Trailing by nine with just 1:04 to play in regulation, the Crusaders (3-6 overall) rallied behind the hot shooting of sophomore guard AJ Dixon (Hilliard, Ohio) and the clutch shooting of freshman guard Tyrel Jackson (Dublin, Ohio).


Dixon tallied eight points in the final 50 seconds of regulation, bringing Capital to within 80-78 with 11 seconds to play on a 3-pointer.


After the Scots (3-5) split a pair of free throws on the other end, Jackson grabbed a Dixon miss and knocked down the game-tying 3-pointer with just one second on the clock to force the extra period.


Dixon, who finished with a career-high 37 points, scored all 11 in the first overtime for Capital, hitting a pair of free throws with 10 seconds on the clock to put the Crusaders ahead 92-89. Maryville tied the contest again with two seconds left on a 3-pointer to force the second overtime.


Capital never led in the second overtime as the Scots hit all nine free throws they attempted in the period to close out the game.


Dixon's 37 points were the most by a Crusader since Michael Sommer's 36-point outburst against Alma (Mich.) on Nov. 16, 2012, at Wheaton (Ill.). He shot 11-for-25 from the floor, knocked down five 3-pointers and hit 10-of-12 at the free throw line.


Jackson finished with 15 points, while junior forward Andrew Bolka (Xenia, Ohio) recorded his second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.


Junior wings Michael Green (Dublin, Ohio) and Mike Augustine (Lexington, Ohio) also finished in double-figure scoring, registering 14 and 11 points, respectively.


Senior forward Ben Jackson (Columbus, Ohio) added eight points and nine rebounds.


Capital shot 28-of-38 from the free throw line and grabbed 18 offensive rebounds en route to a 46-34 advantage on the boards. Maryville shot a blazing 58.7 percent from the floor. The two teams combined to make 22 three-pointers.


In the first half, the Crusaders started 6-of-6 from the field to take a 14-6 lead just under five minutes in. The Scots tied the game midway through the frame and eventually took the lead, converting a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to take a 37-32 advantage into the locker room.


In the second half, Maryville maintained its lead throughout, leading by as many as 11 points as late as the 9:20 mark of the half.


Capital narrowed the deficit to three on a 3-pointer by Green with 3:48 to play, but the Scots quickly extended the lead back to three possessions before the Crusaders mounted their comeback.


Capital finished with 21 second-chance points compared to just eight for Maryville, but the Scots held advantages in bench points (47-32) and points in the paint (46-24).


The Crusaders will take on the loser of tonight's Piedmont (Ga.)-Transylvania contest tomorrow at 5 p.m.