Men’s Basketball Falls to Muskingum in OAC Home Opener

Pictured: Cameron Caldwell (credit: Hanna Pinkelman)
Pictured: Cameron Caldwell (credit: Hanna Pinkelman)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

COLUMBUS, Ohio –  A seven-minute scoring drought at the end of the first half set back Cap in its quest for conference win number two on the year. The Capital University men's basketball team dropped a 79-61 decision to the Muskingum University Fightin' Muskies at The Capital Center on Wednesday night.

Final statistics

The loss drops Capital to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in Ohio Athletic Conference play while the Muskies pick up their first conference win of the season (1-1 OAC) and 3-3 overall. Capital will hit the road this weekend to play Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.

AT FIRST GLANCE

  • Capital ran out to a quick 6-2 lead and had a burst of early energy when sophomore Reed Bradfield (Dixie Heights, Ky. / Dixie Heights) poked away a bad pass and took it the length of the court to dunk it home.
  • Muskingum kept within one possession until Bradfield's layup made for a five-point game, a lead the Crusaders would hold on to until the game dipped below the 12-minute mark.

THE DROUGHT

  • The well dried up for Cap's offense once it hit 25 points, which left 6:54 on the clock following Cameron Caldwell's split at the free-throw line. Capital did not score another point for the duration of the first half.
  • Over the seven-minute dry spell, Capital went 0-for-6 shooting from the field, 0-for-2 from the free-throw line and committed four turnovers.
  • Muskingum trailed 25-23 at the start of this period and went on to outscore CU 15-0 to close out the stanza and take a 38-25 lead into the locker room.

OUT OF THE BREAK

  • After a pair of free throws from the Muskingum side, Ganiyu Yahaya broke Cap's drought with the first field goal of the second half. The make broke a scoreless streak of 7:12.
  • The make also started a 7-2 Capital run to bring Capital to within eight points of the Fightin' Muskies with 16:37 to go.
  • After both teams swapped free throws, sophomore Tyler Schreck made a big steal and hit freshman Ryan Roth for a 3-pointer from the near-side wing in transition to bring the score to 42-37. Junior guard Cameron Caldwell answered a Muskie bucket with a step-back 3-pointer to cut the lead to four, 44-40, the smallest margin before Muskingum went on one final run to put the game out of reach.
  • Trey Singleton and Marcus Dempsey, Muskingum's two most dangerous weapons in the contest, hit back-to-back shots to add five to its score total and increase its lead to 10 over Cap. Singleton would go on to hit three more treys inside the next two minutes of action to help grow the team's lead to 19. He hit five triples in the second half, alone.
  • Muskingum went on to hold its lead and take the game, 79-61.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Muskingum's big run at the tail end of the first half helped them hold advantages in shooting percentages (+14.3%), rebounds (+4), and turnovers forced (+3).
  • Cap improved its shooting percentage in the second half to raise its overall total to 41.8 percent (23-55), but Muskingum also shot marginally better to rise its field goal shooting percentage to over 50 percent for the game.
  • Capital's 14 turnovers led to 22 Muskingum points, and 34 of the Muskies' 79 points came inside the painted area as opposed to 26 of Cap's 61.
  • Capital shot just 47.4 percent (9-19) while Muskingum shot 65.0 percent (13-20).

KEY CONTRIBUTORS

  • Three of five Capital starters finished with 10 or more points, led by Cameron Caldwell's 16 points, marking the second straight game he has led the team in that category.
  • Reed Bradfield ended with 15 points, two blocks, and a team-leading eight rebounds.
  • Muskingum was led by Marcus Dempsey's 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting and eight points scored from the free-throw line. He also brought down six rebounds and dished out four assists.
  • Trey Singleton posted 23 points for the Muskies, went 9-of-13 from the field, and 5-of-8 from 3-point range. No other Muskie scored more than seven points in the game.