Thompson’s Career Night Powers Capital to Overtime Victory Over No. 11 Calvin

photo credit: Eric George
photo credit: Eric George

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior forward Kristen Thompson had one of the best outings in recent memory for Capital University's women's basketball team  as the Crusaders pulled off an overtime victory over No. 11/12 Calvin College in the championship game of the Mariott Columbus Airport Tournament on Wednesday night at the Capital Center.

Watch Kristen Thompson's postgame interview

Both team's opened the game with fast paced attack while applying a full-court press on defense. The Knight's made a statement early in the game as sophomore guard Ali Spayde pulled up from long distance to drain the first of her game-leading five 3-pointers. Calvin's (8-3) next points came from another 3-point jumper from Kally Verkaik to bring the score to 6-2.

With 1:04 left in the first quarter, Capital (10-2) captured its largest lead of regulation on the heels of three made free throw shots by Shelby Sigman (Bellbrook, Ohio) after she was fouled on a 3-point attempt. Another free throw shot by Kristen Thompson (Cincinnati, Ohio) brought the score to 19-16, in favor of the Crusaders.

The Crusaders did not see a lead throughout the second quarter and Calvin built on that momentum following intermission. With 6:42 left in the third quarter, Tiffany Karger drained a three ball to put the Knights up by 10 as they looked to pull away. Throughout the third stanza, Capital continued its uptempo play, chipping away at the score until it carried a 51-50 lead into the fourth quarter.

To open the final quarter sophomore guard Annika Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio) answered a Calvin jumper with a 3-pointer. With Capital leading 54-52, six of the team's next eight points came from Thompson, bringing the score to 62-56.

Capital was in position to capture the victory as it led Calvin 68-61 with 2:42 left but the Knights ended regulation with a 7-0 run to force overtime. The run started with a 3-pointer from Kally Verkaik.

The Crusaders led by three with 2:00 left to play when Thompson drew a foul that also led to a technical foul on Calvin's bench. The two fouls rewarded Capital with four straight free throws, an opportunity the the Crusaders used to put the Knights away as Wachtman converted on the first two before Thompson made both of her attempts.

Kristen Thompson postgame interview

Thompson recorded a double-double on her way to scoring a career high 33 points while pulling down 19 boards, tying a career high. The forward shot 11-of-18 (.611) from the field and 11-16 from the line (.687). Wachtman and Simmone Gage (Dayton, Ohio) rounded out Capital's top three scorers with 13 and 11, respectively.

Spayde led the Knight's with 20 points as she made five shots from long range. Teammate Bre Luurtsema paced Calvin with 10 rebounds as guard Anna Tenner led all players with four steals.

As a team, the Crusaders made 23-of-34 (.676) from the line. Capital also held advantages in rebounds (52-34), assists (16-13), points in the paint (30-24), and points off turnovers (21-18).

The All-Tournament team, as determined by Capital University's sports information department was Simmone Gage (Capital), Ali Spayde (Calvin), Jessica Mrdjenovich (Allegheny), Justine Seely (Misericordia) and tournament MVP Kristen Thompson (Capital).

The Crusaders have a week off before returning to conference play at Baldwin Wallace on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 3 p.m.