By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Men's Basketball had plenty of chances and resilience on Wednesday night but ultimately could not get over the hump against the Marietta College Pioneers in the team's 79-74 defeat.
Capital started quickly and built up as much as an eight-point lead fewer than 10 minutes into the contest. Three-pointers from Will Hannah (Milford, Ohio/Milford) and Austin Schreck (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) put the Crusaders on top and the Crusaders got early contributions from Caleb Cox (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) and Cameron Caldwell (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South). Schreck scored nine of Capital's first 18 points.
The Pioneers refused to roll over though and from the 11:39 to 8:35 marks of the game went on an 8-0 run that tied the score at 18. The teams went back-and-forth for the rest of the first half and Capital took a 31-30 lead into the break.
The teams continued where they left off after halftime with Marietta scoring on most of their attempts but the Crusaders matching them each time up the court. After a Pioneer score, Cox converted a layup that tied the game at 37 with 16:20 remaining on the clock.
Marietta responded with a 14-6 run that gave the Pios a 51-43 advantage but again, Capital scrapped its way back. Seven points from Schreck and Cox sandwiched a pair of Marietta free throws and Capital trailed 53-50 and Hannah answered a Pioneer score with a layup of his own.
The teams traded blow-for-blow for the next four minutes, although Marietta was able to inch further away and built up a 64-54 lead with 4:27 left and time running out. A layup by Ganiyu Yahaya (Abuja, Nigeria/Wesley Christian) and triple from Schreck shrunk Marietta's advantage to five points but the Pioneers responded again and was able to keep the Crusaders at a distance.
Another Schreck triple with 15 seconds left pulled Cap back within three points but the Pioneers calmly knocked down their free throws and sealed the win.
Schreck scored a career-high 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the floor and 3-of-5 from downtown. Cox recorded another double-double, his fifth of the year, with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Yahaya scored 14 off the Capital bench on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the floor and 3-of-3 from the line with one triple. Mel Shuler led Marietta with 10 points in the contest but five Pioneers scored nine points and two scored eight as part of a balanced offensive attack.
As a team, Capital dominated the paint, outscoring Marietta 40-26. However, the Pioneers got 37 bench points compared to just 17 from the Crusaders.
Capital (11-11, 7-9 Ohio Athletic Conference) will look to even its conference record this Saturday when the team travels north to take on the Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets in Berea. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 3 p.m.