MARIETTA, Ohio – The Capital University men's basketball team fell behind early to the eighth-ranked Marietta College Pioneers and was unable to recover in its 77-63 loss, Wednesday night. Mark Minch led Capital with his sixth straight game with 20 or more points.
Capital (10-10, 6-7 OAC) hung with Marietta (18-2, 8-1 OAC) over the first four minutes of the contest, but the Pioneers kicked it into gear by going off on a 22-4 run over a 10-minute span of time. The Crusaders missed six straight shots, five of those 3-point attempts, to aid the Pioneers' run. Sophomore Joe Thomas (Columbus, Ohio/Centennial) scored Capital's only points and the team turned the ball over four times during that run.
Luis Garcia's three-ball made for a 30-11 score before Capital got into any kind of groove. However, the Pioneers countered by shooting 66.7 percent from field-goal range and hit 5-of-10 3-point shots in the first half alone. They took a 42-25 lead into halftime.
The Crusaders outscored the Pioneers in the second half, but only by a plus-three margin. Both Minch and the team greatly improved their shooting numbers, hitting 44.4 percent of its field goals while Minch hit 5-of-10, individually. Twelve of his game-high 23 points came in the second half.
Again, Marietta sported its sharp-shooting talents after sinking 14-of-28 of its attempts from the field and added four more treys in the second half. Capital was unable to come back from as much as a 25-point deficit. A.J. Edwards led Marietta with 16 points and was one of four Pioneer double-digit scorers.
Minch also tallied seven rebounds and three steals, both stats that led the team on the evening. Junior guard Curt Geise (Delphos, Ohio) and freshman guard Austin Schreck (Erlanger, Ky.) joined him in double figure point totals with 10 and 12 points, respectively.
Capital actually held slight advantages over the Pioneers in rebounds (34-33), caused turnovers (17-14), points off turnovers (18-16), second-chance points (13-4), and points in the paint (42-40). Their shooting percentages served as their biggest discrepancies with Marietta hitting 58.2 percent of its field goal attempts while Capital shot 41.5 percent. The Pioneers also hit 39.1 percent (9-23) of its 3-point attempts to Capital's 23.5 percent (4-17) of its chances.
John Carroll University is next on the docket for Capital. The unbeaten Blue Steaks (20-0, 13-0 OAC) will serve as the second straight nationally-ranked team in a row Capital will face. JCU was tabbed No. 4 in the country and received one first-place vote in the most recent D3Hoops.com Top-25 Poll. The Crusaders and Blue Steaks will faceoff at The Capital Center on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m.