GRANVILLE, Ohio – In its final nonconference game of the 2015-16 season, the Capital University men's basketball team faced off against the Big Red of Denison University at Livingston Gym. Denison came out firing in the second half, breaking away for a 92-76 victory over the Crusaders on Wednesday night.
While both teams kept it close after one half of play, the Big Red (7-5) used a huge run to open the second stanza to break open the game. Denison held Capital to 3-for-8 shooting over the first seven minutes of the second half and caused four turnovers, leading to the breakaway. After the Big Red rode out to a 21-6 run, the Crusaders found themselves down 63-40 nearing the midway point of the second half. They were unable to recover, finding themselves on the wrong end of a 92-76 decision.
Going into the half, Denison held a 42-34 lead over the Crusaders. The middle parts of the first half featured spot-on shooting from both teams. Meurer and Darius Wright each hit a pair of 3-point field goals accounting for all of the Big Red's long-distance makes in the half, while Minch answered with a pair of his own plus freshman Will Hannah's three ball that kept the two teams close.
With 6:20 to go in the opening period, Denison made a six-point breakaway that made the difference in first-half scoring. The run began with White's long ball, ending a barrage of three-point attempts, and after two misses and two turnovers by Capital was complimented by layups from Garrett Collier and Patrick Keller. Meurer ended the half streaking to the bucket with a made finger roll just as time expired.
After the early portions of the second half came and went, the Big Red was red hot from behind the arc by hitting 7-for-13 of their 3-pointers. They finished the game 8-of-20 from deep, connecting on 40 percent of their attempts. Denison was led by Meurer and his 38 points. He was joined in double figures by White (18) and Jett Speelman (16). Forty-six of Denison's points came in the paint.
Minch finished as Capital's leading scorer with 25 points and collected his third double-double of the season after adding 11 rebounds. Minch also added three assists and two steals, despite the loss.
The Crusaders wrap up their nonconference slate and now roll into the remainder of their OAC schedule, beginning with Baldwin Wallace University. They will host the Yellow Jackets inside The Capital Center on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 2 p.m.
Capital Athletics and the CU Society of Sports Management (CUSSM) will be hosting the first of its five trading card giveaways on Saturday, honoring the accomplishments of the 1995-96 Capital men's basketball team. Twenty years ago, the Crusaders under head coach Damon Goodwin - then in his second year at Capital – advanced to the NCAA Tournament, the first of five occasions since Goodwin took over the program. The first 400 fans will receive a commemorative trading card, and at halftime members of the 1995-96 team will be recognized at halftime.