COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University women's basketball team lost a heartbreaker at the buzzer to its archrival, Otterbein University, on Saturday afternoon. With a tie game and eight seconds left to go, the Cardinals final move to the bucket sealed the win in a classic rivalry contest held at The Capital Center. Otterbein came away with the last-second win, 55-53.
With just eight seconds on the clock senior Simonne Gage (Dayton, Ohio) stripped Abby Miduri and had a fast break opportunity, but was fouled sending her to the charity stripe. After converting 1-of-2 free throws, the game looked to be heading to overtime. The Cardinals charged down the floor on its next possession where Amariah Huck missed on her attempt at the go-ahead bucket, Kiersten Taylor secured the rebound and was able to put up a turnaround shot that went in with just 0.7 seconds left on the clock. After an unsuccessful heave down the floor, Otterbein escaped with the win, 55-53.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair, led by sophomore Annika Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) with five points. The Crusader defense held the Cardinals to just 27.3 percent shooting from the field in the stanza.
The second quarter turned out to be the same, back-and-forth. Senior Jenna Erwin (Springfield, Ohio/Southeast) led Capital with nine points while shooting 75 percent from the field and went 2-for-2 from behind the arc. The Crusaders took a 29-24 lead into the half.
Both teams struggled offensively in the third quarter. However, Otterbein was able to take the lead 32-31 heading into the fourth. The fourth quarter was a complete opposite from the third. Both teams exploded for a combined 45 points in the quarter. Both teams shot over 40 percent from the field.
Erwin led Capital with 18 points while shooting 5-of-6 from behind the arc and secured six rebounds. Wachtman finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Senior Kristen Thompson (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the Crusaders with nine rebounds. Gage had a game-high in both steals and assists, notching eight in each category. She also finished with eight rebounds.
Otterbein's Abby Miduri led all scorers with 20 points, while adding four rebounds and three steals. Kiersten Taylor had a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Crusaders, who entered the contest No. 20/21 in NCAA Division III, is now 18-5 overall and 11-5 in the conference. They will be in action on Wednesday, Feb. 17, when they travel to Tiffin, Ohio to face Heidelberg University at 7:30 p.m.