No. 8 ONU Uses Late Breakaway to Defeat Capital

Pictured: Regan Stonerock (credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Pictured: Regan Stonerock (credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Women's Basketball had its three-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of No. 8 Ohio Northern University. The undefeated Polar Bears broke off a 14-2 run to end the game and hand the Purple and White a 64-49 loss at the ONU Sports Center in Ada, Ohio, Saturday afternoon.

Capital (9-10, 5-7 OAC) battled tooth and nail to keep in close proximity to the nationally-ranked Polar Bears (19-0, 12-0 OAC), and until the final ONU run did so successfully throughout the course of the game. Down six with under three minutes to go in the third quarter, Annika Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) scored four of the last six points in the quarter while ONU went just 1-for-4 with one turnover to close out the frame, allowing Cap to close the gap to two points.

Cap again found itself down six midway through the fourth, but repeated the effort to inch closer this time from a bucket by senior Colleen Fondessy followed by four straight points by freshman Regan Stonerock (Westfall, Ohio/Westfall). In response to Capital's comeback, ONU then kicked it into gear by scoring 14 of the next 16 points to close out the game. The Polar Bears made each of their last four field goals and six straight free throws. In the last 3:45 of the game, ONU did not miss a shot attempt of any kind, while Capital went 1-for-5 from the field and committed a pair of turnovers during the same timeframe.

The Crusaders benefitted in the first half from a combination of defense and ONU shooting woes after the Polar Bears shot just 8-for-30 (.267) over the first two quarters, and committed seven turnovers. Capital shot marginally better (.333), but 10 turnovers prevent them from holding the upper hand heading into the locker room at halftime, 25-21.

Capital outscored the eighth-ranked Polar Bears in the third quarter, 18-16, where Wachtman scored 10 of her team-leading 12 points. In that quarter, the junior hit five of her six shot attempts to ensure Capital a chance at an upset. Her performance was part of a quarter in which the Crusaders shot 56.3 percent from field goal range.

 The combination of superb shooting and zero turnovers was key in keeping pace with the Polar Bears heading into the fourth quarter. Until pressure began being applied in the final three minutes, Capital had a string of 16-plus minutes without a turnover.

Wachtman was one of three Capital players with 10 or more points during the game. Joining her was sophomore Emily Ondo (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler Area) and Stonerock, each scoring 10 points on a combined 8-for-20 shooting. Stonerock held the team lead with six rebounds and two steals, as well. The Capital starters scored 42 of the team's 49 points.

Britt Lauck led all scorers, putting up 15 points for ONU. Jenna Dirksen scored 11 and added seven rebounds.

After having its three-game winning streak snapped by the loss, the Purple and White will regroup for another road contest on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Capital will play at Heidelberg University with tipoff for the game set for 7:30 p.m.