COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University's women's basketball team hosted 16th-ranked The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the championship game of the annual Capital/Marriott Christmas Tournament on Friday afternoon. The Crusaders kept pace with the Warhawks but was unable to keep them from pulling away in the fourth quarter.
The Purple and White's shooting improved from its first outing in the tournament which was evident by the team sinking four of its first five jumpers. Capital held an 8-6 lead following a Chelsea Pla (Macedonia, Ohio) jumpshot before Wisconsin-Whitewater used four free throws, separated by two points from Annika Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington), to take its first lead of the game, 11-10, into the second quarter.
The Crusaders put together a 15-4 run to take a 25-17 lead in the second quarter that was highlighted by a play that saw Annika Wachtman drawing a foul down low but the contact was unable to keep her shot from finding its mark. The junior guard converted on the three-point opportunity, draining the following free throw attempt.
The Warhawks were able to reclaim the lead before halftime with a 14-2 run that was aided by Capital's struggles from the charity stripe. Despite Capital's misses from the free throw line, Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio) was able to make both of her attempts right before the break to make the score 31-29 in favor of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Both squads came out firing in the third quarter as both teams made their first four field goal attempts. The Warhawks managed to pry the momentum from the Crusaders by inflicted damage from 3-point range as Emily Kraft made a trio of 3-pointers in the final three minutes of the third quarter to build a 10 point lead over Capital.
The Crusaders were unable to recover from the third quarter flurry as the Warhawks maintained a lead of at least eight points throughout the final quarter.
Risner led all players with a career high 17 points along with eight rebounds. Emily Ondo (Pittsburg, Pa.) added 14 points with a career high nine rebounds. Annika Wachtman and Colleen Fondessy (Fostoria, Ohio) led all players with four assists apiece.
The all-tournament team included Risner of Capital, Reilley Stewert of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Jillian Nickels of Olivet College, and Kara Hageman of Case Western Reserve University. Wisconsin-Whitewater's Andrea Meinert was named tournament Most Valuable Player.
The Crusaders will resume action next Wednesday, Jan. 4 against Wilmington College. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.