Untimely Cooldown Allows Wilmington to Squeak Out Win Over Cap

Pictured: Sarah Junker (credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Pictured: Sarah Junker (credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

WILMINGTON, Ohio – Capital University Women's Basketball went into Raizk Arena looking to reverse its recent fortune when playing Wilmington College on the road. Cap pushed the Fightin' Quakers to the limit but its offense fell silent in the final two minutes, allowing the hosts to pull out a 60-53 win. The loss drops Capital to 5-12 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, adding to the log jam in the team standings as the Crusaders head into the final regular season game of the season.

Capital's shooting numbers proved to be impressive in the first half, rounding out at 42.3 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Sarah Junker (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) came off the bench to pace Capital with six points, two rebounds and two steals in 12 minutes. Junior guard Annika Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) was right there with Junker, hitting 3-of-5 attempts and collecting three rebounds. Wachtman's layup with 1:12 to go helped setup Capital's largest lead, seven points, which lasted until the waning seconds of the second quarter. Brittaney Jefferson chipped into the with a buzzer-beating three before the horn sounded to cut Capital's lead to 28-24 heading into the locker room.

Junker got the scoring started in the third with a bucket a minute into the second half and added a second three possessions later, keeping the lead to six points. Both teams would continue to trade blows but Emily Smith would convert on a turnover by Chelsea Pla to cut the lead to one with 3:08 remaining in the frame. One under the two-minute mark, Savannah Hooper hit a three-pointer to give Wilmington its first lead since the opening minutes of the contest. Another horn-beating shot by the Quakers, this time by Smith, made for a 41-39 score in the host's favor heading into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter featured six lead changes and three ties before one final push by Wilmington edged the game into its favor. Freshman Regan Stonerock hit a pair of free throws with 2:16 to go to give them what would be the Crusaders' last lead of the game, 53-52. After each team traded misses, Willmington's Mary Moyer hit a layup to take the lead back. In the final 2:16, the Capital offense was unable to score, missing five field goals and committing one turnover. Meanwhile, Wilmington hit all four of its attempts at the charity stripe to pull away, 60-53.

Junker led Capital with 16 points, blowing away her previous career best of six. She finished the night shooting 7-for-10 while adding seven rebounds and four steals. Wachtman dropped 10 points, as well.

Wilmington was led by Jefferson's 17 total points and six rebounds. Joining her in double figures was Ashley Andracki (10).

The loss drops Capital to 9-15 overall and 5-12 in OAC play, complicating the playoff picture for Capital and much of the conference. Five of the conference's 10 teams continue to battle it out for three spots in the upcoming OAC Tournament. Capital is in a three-way tie with Heidelberg University and this weekend's opponent, John Carroll University. All three schools trail Muskingum University and Otterbein University by one contest. Capital will need a win against John Carroll to stay alive in the playoff picture. Should Muskingum defeat Heidelberg in its matchup this weekend and Capital win, that would seal Capital's spot in the OAC Tournament. If Capital and Heidelberg both win, it would create at least a three-way tie again that would also include Muskingum, and possibly Otterbein if the Cardinals lose to the University of Mount Union in its matchup.

Tiebreakers involving three or more teams are determined by comparing head-to-head records of all teams involved until an advantage is gained,

Capital and John Carroll will tip off inside The Capital Center Performance Arena at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18. Following the game, the Crusaders will celebrate Senior Day and honor the career and contributions of its lone senior, Colleen Fondessy