COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University men's basketball took to the hardwood as it hosted the Polar Bears of Ohio Northern University. Cap outscored ONU 51-35 in the second half, but could not overcome the first half deficit.
Ohio Northern jumped out to an early 6-2 lead thanks to two 3-pointers, by Konnor Baker and Devon Allen. Sophomore Joey Weingartner (Centerville, Ohio/ Strongsville) drained a 3-ball to cut the Polar Bear lead to 6-5 before he made a jumper to give Capital a 7-6 lead with 13:34 left in the first half.
The Polar Bears answered with four unanswered, two points by Baker and Ryan Bruns, which gave ONU a 10-7 lead. Senior Tyrel Jackson (Dublin, Ohio/ Dublin Coffman) sank a jump shot to pull Cap within one with 11:51 in the half.
Ohio Northern and Capital proceeded to trade jump shots, then traded 3-point baskets, which gave ONU a 15-14 lead. Sophomore Austin Schreck (Erlanger, Ky./ Dixie Heights) made the jumper, while freshman Dan Auble (Brecksville, Ohio/ Brecksville) hit the shot from long range.
The Polar Bears went on a short 7-0 run before Jackson scored off of a jump shot cutting the ONU lead to 22-16. Baker made another 3-point shot before Schreck made two shots from the free-throw line to cut the deficit to 25-18.
Ohio Northern ended the half on a 15-2 run to take a 40-20 lead into halftime.
The Crusaders started the second half by going on a 12-2 run that took 3:26 and cut the ONU lead to 10, 42-32. Jackson and freshman Tyler Jamison (Strongsville, Ohio/ Strongsville) both recorded four points each on the run, while Schreck and sophomore Nate Boone (Columbus, Ohio/ Bishop Watterson) chipped in with two points each.
Nate Burger then converted an and-1 opportunity and gave ONU a 45-32 lead. Schreck made a jump shot, followed by four unanswered points from Jamison which trimmed the ONU lead, 45-38, with 14:43 left in regulation.
Allen sank another 3-point attempt and on the other end Boone made a layup for Capital to cut the lead back to eight points, 48-40.
Ryan Bruns went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe for Ohio Northern. Weingartner answered for Capital, drilling a shot from downtown to cut the ONU lead to six points, 49-43. The Polar Bears then went on a 6-2 run, which extended their lead to 55-45 with 9:35 left in regulation.
The two teams traded the next four baskets, all jump shots, which kept the lead at 10 points, 59-49. Boone and Jamison were the two scorers for Capital. Bruns added a free throw, to extend ONU's lead to 60-49 with 7:35 left in regulation.
After a made layup by Schreck and a 3-point basket from ONU, Boone converted on an and-1 opportunity. The Polar Bear lead was cut to nine points, 63-54.
Ohio Northern made a shot from behind the arc. Jackson responded with a made and-1 attempt to cut the lead back to nine points, 66-57. The Polar Bears scored two more points to extend their lead to 68-57.
The Crusaders had a fast 8-2 swing, started by Boone with a jump shot. Jackson got hot from behind the arc and converted two consecutive long range attempts. The ONU lead was down to six points, 70-65, with 1:15 left in regulation.
Capital ended the game with a 6-5 advantage, led by Auble with two made 3-point baskets. The final score was 75-71 in favor of ONU.
The Crusaders' defense made a complete 180 in the second half. For the game, they held Ohio Northern to 41.4 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from behind the arc, after ONU shot above 60 percent from the field and long range in the first half. The combination of Boone and Jamison made it extremely difficult for the Polar Bears to convert on shots in the paint.
Ohio Northern was led by Joey DiOrio with 20 points. Allen and Bruns each had 14 points. Baker finished with 10 points. The Polar Bears held a slim margin in points off turnovers, 11-10. ONU scored more points in the paint, 24-20, fast-break points, 4-2, and bench points, 15-8.
Capital had the upper hand with 15 second chance points compared to ONU's nine. Cap also secured more rebounds, 36-30.
Jackson led Capital with 17 points, while he added four assists, two steals and one rebound. Schreck contributed with 14 points, two rebounds and one steal. Boone went for 13 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Jamison rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points, eight rebounds, one assist and one steal.
With the loss, Capital falls to 10-9 overall and 5-7 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. The Crusaders return to action Wednesday as they host the Student Princes of Heidelberg. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and it is Superhero Night! So be sure to dress up as your favorite superhero.