By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Coming into Wednesday night's contest, Capital University Men's Basketball knew that it needed a win to keep pace in the Ohio Athletic Conference race against a Heidelberg University squad with an identical 6-7 overall record and 2-4 conference mark. Forty minutes and an offensive explosion later, the Crusaders had earned an 85-75 victory to even their record at 7-7 and 3-4.
Caleb Cox (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) started things off for Capital with two made layups but the teams went back for forth for much of the first five minutes of play.
Capital built up a 10-point lead with 12 minutes left to play in the half but Heidelberg closed the gap to as few as three points with six minutes to go. Over the next four minutes though, Capital went on a 13-3 run that gave the Crusaders a comfortable cushion.
The run started with a layup by Tyler Jamison (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville) and then back-to-back corner threes by freshman swingman John Burnham (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis) gave the Crusaders a 38-27 lead and sent the Capital fans into a frenzy, his second and third makes from behind the arc in the game. He added a fourth with just under two minutes to play in the half to give him 13 first-half points and Capital went into halftime leading 43-34.
Both teams traded scores to start the second half but a triple from Will Hannah (Milford, Ohio/Milford) and a three-point play from Austin Schreck (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) put Cap up 51-38. On the next possession, Schreck stole a Heidelberg pass, sprinted down the court past a defender and jammed home a dunk that made it a 15-point Capital lead and forced a Heidelberg timeout.
The Crusaders maintained control for the rest of the game, responding to every run the Student Princes put together.
Four Capital players finished with double-digit points, led by Cox's 18 on 8-of-10 shooting. Junior guard Joey Weingartner (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) finished with 17 while going 5-of-7 from deep, Schreck added 16 and Burnham chipped in 13.
After turning the ball over 29 times on Saturday, the Crusaders cut that number to just 11 and only allowed 11 points off of the giveaways. Capital forced Heidelberg to cough up the ball 17 times and capitalized with 21 points off of those turnovers. Capital's bench also outscored Heidelberg's 24-14.
The win gives Capital five victories in its past seven games and the team will look to make it two in a row on Saturday when it travels to the University of Mount Union to take on the Purple Raiders. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 2 p.m.