UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – After dominating much of the first half of Monday evening's Ohio Athletic Conference matchup with nationally-ranked John Carroll University, the Capital University men's basketball team fell short of its upset bid in a 75-74 defeat in University Heights, Ohio.
For the third time this season, Capital (7-4, 3-2 OAC) scored more than 40 points in the first half of play. They put up 49 points against the Blue Streaks, using its 57.1 percent field goal shooting rate to its advantage.
Senior Mark Minch (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a hot first half, scoring 18 points in the opening period on 8-of-11 shooting. He was joined by A.J. Dixon (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) and Michael Green (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) with double-digit scoring efforts in the first half, each scoring 10 points.
The nationally-ranked Blue Streaks turned their fortunes around in the second half, stepping it up a notch on the defensive end. John Carroll (12-0, 5-0 OAC), which entered the game ranked No. 10 by D3Hoops.com, nearly halved Capital second half point output while inducing 12 turnovers to the two committed in the first half. Over the course of the game, JCU cashed those turnovers in for 21 points. The Blue Streaks closed the gap to one point in just 3:47 and took its first lead just three minutes later.
After building as much as a six-point lead heading into the final eight minutes of the second half, Capital climbed back and tied the game at 71-71 after being spurred by Will Hannah's 3-pointer. Dixon scored four straight points in less than 60 seconds to set up an offensive struggle in the final two minutes to break the tie. Capital had two chances at taking the lead but was unable to connect on either opportunity. John Carroll also failed to convert on the other end and Will Starks missed both free throws, but Antonio Vuyancih pulled down a key offensive rebound, setting up David Linane's go-ahead bucket with 34.9 seconds to go.
Tight defense from the Blue Streaks forced Hannah to take an ill-advised shot from the left block. Schreck hit a three ball with less than one second remaining, but was unable to create one more shot, leading to the Crusaders' defeat.
Minch finished with 21 points after cooling off in the second half. Dixon (14) and Green (12) were the only other Crusaders to finish in double figures scoring. Minch and Green both finished with seven rebounds, bested only by Schreck's eight.
Linane ended the evening with 19 points while Simon Kucharewicz put up a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. JCU had four players score in double figures, two off of the bench.
Capital held John Carroll to its lowest offensive output of the season at 75 points. Their next lowest point total was 82 points, twice achieved in conference play. The Blue Streaks remain unbeaten this season.
The Crusaders will return to the hardwood at Denison University on Wednesday at 7 p.m.