By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
WILMINGTON, Ohio – Capital University Men's Basketball suffered a close loss on Wednesday night in the team's second-to-least regular season game of the year, 67-62 to Wilmington College on the road. The Crusaders fell to 19-5 overall and 14-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference with the defeat but the team is still in sole possession of first place in the league.
With Capital ahead 57-54 and 5:09 left to play in the second half, Wilmington tied the game at 57 on a triple from Will Patrick and then took the lead 30 seconds later on a close-range make from Abdul Kanu. Kanu then scored another basket to increase Wilmington's lead to four. A pair of made free throws and another layup made it 11 unanswered points for the Quakers and Capital found itself down 65-57 with 2:18 to play.
Senior guard Joey Weingartner (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) stopped the bleeding with a make from downtown to cut Capital's deficit to five and then a pair of made free throws from Will Hannah (Milford, Ohio/Milford) made it a three-point contest with 1:15 left.
Wilmington then called a timeout and missed a layup on the ensuing offensive possession but an offensive foul by the Crusaders gave the ball right back to the hosts. Caleb Cox (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) then stole the ball from Kanu but another Capital turnover gave the ball back to Wilmington with only seven seconds remaining. Wilmington then called a timeout and Andrew Russell converted two free throws to ice the game.
Weingartner scored a game-high 18 points with four made triples while both Cox and Austin Schreck (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) double-doubled. Cox put up 15 points and 12 rebounds while Schreck scored 14 points and also pulled down 12 boards.
Neither team shot particularly well from the field with Capital hitting just 42.3 percent of its shots and Wilmington hitting at 42.9 percent. Capital held a 43-30 advantage on the boards but turned the ball over 10 times to Wilmington's 10. The Quakers scored 27 points off of turnovers. The game featured eight ties and 14 lead changes but none after Wilmington took control with five minutes left in the second half.
The Crusaders will conclude the regular season at the University of Mount Union on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. The Purple Raiders are 13-4 in the OAC this season and sit in second in the conference. A win on Saturday will clinch the regular season title for the Crusaders.