The Capital University women's basketball team submitted a strong rebounding performance and forced 21 turnovers in a 73-65 victory over Robert Morris-Springfield (Ill.) on the first day of the Hope Post-Exam Jam in Holland, Mich.
With the win, the Crusaders (5-2 overall) move on to the tournament championship game to face the winner of tonight's Finlandia (Mich.)-No. 6 Hope contest tomorrow at 3 p.m.
Capital finished with a 52-46 rebounding edge, including a commanding 21-8 advantage in offensive rebounds.
The Crusaders held the Eagles (6-5) to just 37.5 percent shooting and forced 22 turnovers while committing just 11 of their own. Capital knocked down 17-of-27 (63 percent) at the free throw line.
Senior forward Jamie Caton (Hilliard, Ohio) tallied a career-high 24 points to go along with nine rebounds, four assists, four blocks and six steals. Sophomore forward Kristen Thompson (Cincinnati, Ohio) recorded her first career double-double, posting 15 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
Senior guard Cookie Geroski (Fostoria, Ohio) added 11 points and four rebounds.
Robert Morris-Springfield built a nine-point lead in the first half, leading 22-13 at the 8:06 mark of the period. Thompson eventually tied the contest and gave Capital the lead with back-to-back jumpers in the final 2:09 of the first half. The Crusaders held the lead at 27-26 heading into the locker room.
In the second, Capital held the lead for a majority of the period, but the Eagles hung around and tied the game at 55-55 with 5:28 to play. A jumper by junior forward Monica Heckman (Pitsburg, Ohio) with 5:10 left gave the Crusaders the lead for good.
Capital knocked down 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the final 1:18 to ice the contest.
The Crusaders overcame an off shooting night (33.3 percent) with 23 points off the Eagles' 22 turnovers, and 16 second-chance points. Capital posted 16 steals in the affair, compared to three for Robert Morris-Springfield.