COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital's women's basketball team hosted 23rd-ranked Ohio Northern University on Saturday afternoon at the Capital Center. The Purple and White fell behind early before making a late push to get back into the game before ultimately falling short of completing the comeback, losing 65-57.
The Crusaders (3-2 overall, 0-1 OAC) struggled to get on the board in the first quarter as the Polar Bears (5-0, 1-0) put together a 22-7 run that lasted throughout the first eight and a half minutes of the contest. The Crusaders managed to claim some of the momentum before the first quarter concluded as Meredith Ovies (Franklin, Tenn.) nailed Capital's first 3-pointer of the game. Emily Ondo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) followed Ovies' shot up with a jumper at the buzzer that appeared to be a 3-pointer but was ruled a 2-point shot because her toe was touching the arc.
In the second quarter, both offenses went in opposite directions as Capital's started to heat up while Ohio Northern's struggled to hit shots. Capital strung together a 10-2 run that was sparked by a made jumper from Ondo, who made the shot despite a foul from an Ohio Northern defender. Ondo then drained her only free throw attempt.
After two made free throws from Ohio Northern's Amy Bullimore, Ondo continued to add to the run with a jump shot before Regan Stonerock (Westfall, Ohio) sunk her first 3-point shot of her career. Sophomore guard Rachel Horn (Millersburg, Ohio) added two more points to cut ONU's lead to 34-27 at the half.
The pace of the game picked up in the third quarter as both squads exchanged blows. Ohio Northern looked to expand its 38-31 lead when junior guard Courtney Cramer hit a shot from beyond the arc but Capital had an answer as Elli Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio) hit a midrange jumper before Ovies added a 3-pointer to make the score 41-36.
ONU's Cramer sunk another 3-point shot to contribute to the Polar Bears 50-40 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Cramer's hot-streak from 3-point ranged carried over into the fourth quarter as her three-ball opened up the quarter's scoring.
Ohio Northern built a 15-point lead before Capital began cutting into the deficit with 7:54 left to play. Risner scored five straight points before Sam Sech (Hilliard, Ohio/Darby) took advantage of a Wachtman rebound by laying the ball in for two more points. Wachtman displayed discipline from the line, making six straight free throw attempts to cut ONU's lead to 59-53. The Crusaders then pulled the game within two with two minutes left to play after receiving shots from Stonerock and Risner.
However, the Polar Bears received a key jumper from Bullimore that put the Crusaders in a position where they had to foul. Ohio Northern converted both times it was put on the line late in the game, adding four points, finally putting the game out of reach.
Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio) paced Capital with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Ondo and Wachtman contributed the production Capital received from its bench, scoring nine points apiece.
Ohio Northern was more accurate from the field, making 23-of-55 (.418) shots compared to Capital's 20-of-57 (.351). Early miscues from the arc plagued the Crusaders as the team finish making only four of its 23 3-point attempts.
The Crusaders return to action on Thursday, Dec. 8 against Muskingum University. The game tips off at 7:30 p.m. in New Concord, Ohio.