COLUMBUS, Ohio – The battle between the University of Mount Union and Capital University women's basketball teams was fierce and twice came down to the final seconds in order to determine a winner. The Purple Raiders had one more shot go down than the hosts, leading the Crusaders to a 62-60 loss at The Capital Center in front of a large, supportive crowd on Community Day.
Mount Union (10-11, 6-9 OAC) relied heavily on its 3-point shooting and though the percentages gave credit to Capital's perimeter defense and showed an off-day for the Raiders, a couple of timely hits made the difference. Capital answered following one such make when freshman Regan Stonerock (Westfall, Ohio/Westfall) went to the bucket for a pair of her 14 total points, which started 7-0 run. Sophomore Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) scored the next five points, including an and-one opportunity, which created the game's largest lead of six points. Up 52-46, Mount Union slowly chipped away at the deficit by causing a pair of turnovers and going 2-for-3 at the charity stripe after Jaime Sanborn was fouled on a 3-point attempt to make for a one-point game in Cap's favor. Risner was fouled on the other end of the floor on the next possession and hit both of her free throws with 27 seconds remaining.
The Purple Raiders came back with one of its well-timed 3-pointers when Tori Rappach slipped free of the defense and hit the game-tying three from the left wing, leaving 16.4 seconds to go. Capital fed the hot hand, Risner, but her potential game-winning turnaround jumper fell just off the mark, sending Capital to its second overtime game of the season.
Neither team held greater than a one-point lead until the game dropped down under 30 seconds remaining. Stonerock continued to have a positive experience at the free throw line after hitting a pair and putting Capital up 60-59 with 37.2 seconds to go. Mount Union advanced the ball up the floor quickly, but Capital's defense quickly swarmed the driving player under the bucket forcing a kickout pass. The Raiders swiftly moved the ball around the wing, setting up Rachel Tinkey for the game-winning 3-pointer from the right wing. The make left 27 seconds left on the clock, which allowed for two Capital field goal attempts. Annika Wachtman missed the first but Stonerock tied up with a Mount Union player and the possession arrow favored Capital, giving them one last chance with 3.8 seconds to go. The inbound pass went to Emily Ondo, but despite spinning free her 15-foot jumper hit off the front iron, giving Mount Union the victory.
Capital and Mount Union posted eerily similar numbers when the stats finalized. Capital shot 33.9 percent compared to Mount Union's 32.9. Capital held a plus-five rebound advantage, but every other category had the two teams remarkably close to one another, with exception to 3-point shooting. Capital hit half of its four attempts from behind the arc, while Mount Union shot just 27.8 percent from distance. Half of the visitors' shots were from three-point land (36-70).
Risner led all scorers with a career-high 19 points after going 7-for-15 from the field. She also added seven rebounds, one block and one steal. Her previous career high was 17 points posted against nationally-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in December.
Stonerock also had a strong game with 14 points, eight of which come from the free throw line. She had a team-high nine rebounds plus two steals.
Abbey Bartoszewicz quietly paced Mount Union's starters with 12 points, though Erin White scored a team-high 13 before fouling out.
Capital falls to 9-12 overall on the season with their conference record now standing at 5-9. With four games to play, Capital is tied with Mount Union for the sixth seed in the upcoming OAC Tournament. The Purple and White will suit up against Marietta College on Wednesday, Feb. 8 in their next home action. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Saturday also marked Community Day, where Capital thanked its many supporters with free admission, photo opportunities with Cappy and the Capital cheerleaders, a postgame meet-and-greet autograph session, and free youth basketball clinic hosted by the team.
Photos taken from earlier today are now available in an album on Facebook. Click here to see them and download yours! Simply click on the gallery link, then click the photo you wish to view, scroll over the photo, click 'options', then finally click 'download'.