Hot Start Sets #23 Capital Apart in Rivalry Win

Pictured: Will Hannah (photo credit: Joe Maiorana)
Pictured: Will Hannah (photo credit: Joe Maiorana)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The nationally-ranked Capital University men's basketball team cruised to a 32-point victory over its rivals, the Otterbein Cardinals, on Saturday night at The Rike Center. The Crusaders, led by Will Hannah, got off to a hot start and left their rival's house with a 93-61 victory to give them win number 15 on the season.

No. 23 Capital zoomed out of the gate with a 9-0 run that included five coming from Will Hannah (Milford, Ohio/Milford). The senior hit a 3-pointer for the game's opening points and added a quick bucket on the next possession to help with the run. It was a sign of things to come for both Hannah and the Crusaders.

A little 6-0 spurt thanks to triples from Ganiyu Yahaya (Abuja, Nigeria) and Joey Weingartner (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) gave the Crusaders its first double-digit lead just past the midway point of the first half, and the points kept coming. Yahaya added a second 3-pointer and then another fell off the fingertips of junior guard Dan Auble (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville) and his layup on the team's next possession extended Cap's lead to 21, nearly doubling its lead in just under three minutes of play. At the end of the first half, Cap's shooting numbers were off the charts and read …

 The lead continued to balloon for Capital and Austin Schreck (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) came from out of the darkness with 20 second-half points, good to represent the team lead on the final stat sheet with 26. He finished 10-for-13 from field goal range and also added four helpers, overall.

In the second half, Capital nearly replicated its offensive effort with 44 points and shot better than 50 percent once again. The defense never let the Cardinals back into it. Known for their ability to shoot the deep ball, Otterbein was held to just 2-for-14 from distance, preventing any sort of challenge at the end.

Hannah finished the game a perfect 8-for-8 from the field to total 19 points in addition to his five rebounds. Caleb Cox led the Crusaders in rebounding (8) while Dan Auble tallied seven assists in his first start of the season at point guard.

This marks the fifth game this season that the Crusaders have scored 90 or more points against an opponent and second in the last three games.

The Crusaders (15-1, 11-1 OAC) will prepare for a rematch against an old foe and nationally-ranked Marietta College, who entered the weekend No. 10 in NCAA Division III, per the D3Hoops.com polls. In the last meeting between these two teams, Capital defeated Marietta, 82-78, at Ban Johnson Arena on January 9 to help propel them into the Top 25. This time, the Crusaders and Pioneers will meet at The Capital Center on Wednesday, January 30 for a 7 p.m. tipoff.