ADA, Ohio – Toward the end of the first half, things looked bleak for the Capital University basketball team after falling behind by more than 20 points. The Crusaders battled back and reclaimed the lead late, but the Polar Bears defended its home court by pulling out the win. Capital lost to Ohio Northern University 91-87 inside the ONU Sports Center, Saturday afternoon.
Following a big 22-8 run by Ohio Northern (7-10, 4-6 OAC) that spanned nearly six minutes, Capital found itself down by 21 points. The men battled back and sliced that deficit by more than half when senior Mark Minch (Cincinnati, Ohio) took over for Capital. With 5:22 left on the clock in the first half, Minch turned in 12 points as part of a 19-5 run that brought Capital back into the fold.
Just four minutes into the second half, Capital was within one bucket of the Polar Bears. Again, Minch made the most of his opportunities and scored six of the Crusaders' first 10 points to make for a 57-56 score in the host's favor. Minch also have Capital its first lead near the 12-minute mark after a pair of free throws, and then went on to score another four consecutive points to bulk its lead up to five, 71-66.
Joey Weingartner's 3-pointer pumped up the Crusaders' lead to six points, 74-68, but Ohio Northern regained control shortly after. Ryan Geise hit a deep three with 7:39 to go, giving the Polar Bears the advantage, but it was not the last time Capital found itself on top. The Crusaders had its final lead of the game by one point with 4:08 left on the clock, and then the Polar Bears began to break away. A few key misses by Capital allowed Konnor Baker and Devon Allen build a five-point lead, 89-84, which was rode to an ONU victory.
Even after serving as the spark of many runs, it was Michael Green (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) who had the best night among all Crusaders. The senior dropped a new career-high 29 points and was perfect from the free throw line on 10 attempts. He also added six rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Minch finished with 26 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field and was one rebound away from achieving a double-double.
Curt Geise (Delphos, Ohio) and Austin Schreck (Erlonger, Ky.) both finished with eight points, and freshman Joey Weingartner (Centerville, Ohio) led all Capital bench players with seven points in 14 minutes played.
Aron Thress led the Polar Bears with 17 points, five rebounds and five assists. He was one of five Polar Bears to finish with 10-plus points, two of those coming off of the bench.
Capital (9-8, 5-5 OAC) will regain home court advantage this Wednesday when they host Wilmington College at The Capital Center during Suits and Sneakers Week, a movement that is part of the Coaches vs. Cancer group. Half of all admission gate will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) while all proceeds via donations from pledge cards will be donated to the American Cancer Society. Help us support head men's basketball coach Damon Goodwin while raising money and awareness toward the fight against cancer. Click here for more information. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.