Monster Start Leads No. 17/20 Capital to Another Win

(photo credit: Jeff Mills)
(photo credit: Jeff Mills)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The nationally-ranked Capital University women's basketball team shot out of a cannon to begin Wednesday night's contest against Wilmington College. They sustained their early lead en route to defeating the Quakers, 67-45, at The Capital Center. The Crusaders have now won six straight games to begin this season.

Capital's starting five took it to the Quakers in the first quarter, outscoring them 18-3 and holding the visitor's to just one field goal. While Capital shot just 33.3 percent from the field in the quarter, they also caused six Wilmington turnovers and took advantage of seven fouls against, which lead to as many free throw makes.

Both teams struggled shooting in the second quarter, but Capital's Kristen Thompson (Cincinnati, Ohio) made a statement to begin the third by scoring seven of the Crusaders first 11 points of the second half. Thompson made her living in the paint where she connected on all three field goal attempts and split a pair of free throws to help Capital build a 39-23 lead midway through the stanza.

Despite the Quakers beginning to heat up from the field after the turn of the half, the Crusaders matched and surpassed those total. The Crusaders hit 66.7 percent of their field goals, while committing zero turnovers. Capital's defense turned it back up in the fourth quarter, taking the Quakers' 46.7 percent shooting performance down to a meager 18.8 percent from the third to the fourth quarter.

Thompson led all scorers with 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. Senior Jenna Erwin (Springfield, Ohio) finished with 15 points while senior Nina Napolitano (Akron, Ohio) ended the evening with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists, five steals, and two blocks.

Brittaney Jefferson led the Quakers with 12 points while Ellie Kivell ended with 10 points. Wilmington finished with 23 turnovers, which led to 16 Capital points.

Capital (6-0, 1-0 OAC) entered the game ranked No. 17 by D3hoops.com and No. 20 in the USA Today's Coaches' Poll after winning their first five games of the season. With this win, the Crusaders have extended that streak to six wins as they head into the first of three road conference games. That run will begin at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio this Saturday, Dec. 5. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.