Capital Outlasted by No. 6 Hope in Tournament Championship

Senior forward Jamie Caton. (Andrea Kjerrumgaard photo).
Senior forward Jamie Caton. (Andrea Kjerrumgaard photo).


The Capital University women's basketball team gave the No. 6 team in the nation all it could handle on its home floor Saturday, eventually falling 93-68 at Hope in the championship game of the Hope Post-Exam Jam in Holland, Mich.


The Crusaders (5-3 overall) went back and forth with the Flying Dutch in the opening half, but Hope eventually pulled away using a 53-29 rebounding edge, including a 27-14 advantage on the offensive glass, for the contest.


Fresh off a 24-point performance in last night's win over Robert Morris-Springfield, senior forward Jamie Caton (Hilliard, Ohio) improved her career high again and led Capital with 26 points to go along with a team-high five rebounds.


Following the conclusion of play, Caton was named to the All-Tournament team.


Senior guard Cookie Geroski (Fostoria, Ohio) and junior guard Shelby Sheets (Fayetteville, Ohio) each contributed with nine points, while sophomore guard Simonne Gage (Dayton, Ohio) tallied eight points and a team-best five assists.


The Dutch (9-0) shot 47 percent from the floor and 68.6 percent (24-for-35) at the free throw line, while the Crusaders were 40 percent from the field and knocked down 76.5 percent (13-for-17) of their free throws.


In the first half, Hope jumped out to a 10-2 lead just over three minutes into the affair, but Capital settled in and cut the deficit to two by the 13:41 mark on a jumper by Caton.


After another run by the Flying Dutch, the Crusaders recovered again, this time taking their first and only lead of the contest at 29-28 with 5:53 left in the half on a jumper by Sheets.


By halftime, Hope extended its lead back to eight points at 43-35, holding Capital scoreless over the final 3:34 of the half and forcing four turnovers in that span.


The Crusaders got as close as six points when a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Nina Napolitano (Akron, Ohio) brought them to within 46-40 with 18:43 on the clock. The Dutch held their double-digit lead for the final 17:59 of the game.


Hope finished with 25 second-chance points, compared with nine for Capital.


The Crusaders resume Ohio Athletic Conference play for the duration of the regular season this Wednesday against Wilmington. Tip-off at the Capital Center is set for 7:30 p.m.