MARIETTA, Ohio – The Capital University women's basketball team saw its season come to an end following an 89-64 loss to Marietta College in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament quarter-final round. Turnovers marred Capital's chance at extending its season, despite shooting at a clip north of 50 percent from field goal range. The Crusaders close their season with an overall record of 11-16 overall.
For the second straight night, Capital displayed a strong shooting performance in consecutive halves, finishing the game with a .510 field goal shooting percentage. Over the course of the first half, Capital went blow for blow with Marietta, never trailing by more than two possessions and even holding a slim lead near the midway point of the second quarter.
Sophomore forward Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) began to heat up toward the latter part of the first quarter, accounting for the last Cap basket before the first break. She then came out of the huddle and scored Capital's first four points of the second quarter, making for three straight makes and helping her team come within three points of the Pioneers. It was Risner's fifth consecutive bucket on a jumper that gave Cap its first lead, 22-21, with just over six minutes remaining in the half.
Marietta's offense was not able to muster as many field goal attempts but did make 10 trips the charity stripe over the final 3:45. The Pioneers made eight of those attempts while shooting just 1-for-5 from the field in that time, until the final shot from Corrie Burkhardt beat the buzzer from behind the arc. With that make, Marietta gained some momentum and a six-point lead heading into halftime.
The second half exposed the two factors that separated the two teams. Turnovers began to pile up on Capital, and Marietta's sheer volume of shots taken plus a high rate of success led to the separation between the two. Capital came within two points of their hosts, 38-36, four minutes into the third quarter but that is when Marietta made its break. Three turnovers by Capital directly translated into a 10-point swing in Marietta's favor and fed into a 15-0 Pioneer run. Marietta made six straight shots, including a pair of 3-pointers and a nontraditional three-point play before Capital broke a scoreless drought that lasted nearly three minutes. Capital was never able to answer, dropping the quarter-final contest by an 89-64 count.
Capital kept its shooting percentage well over 40 percent over the course of the second half despite the disadvantage, but Marietta was able to generate 16 more shot attempts and connected on 53.8 percent of its 39 tries. The Crusaders committed 28 total turnovers and Marietta cashed in on those extra opportunities, scoring 44 points off of those miscues.
Risner finished as Cap's top scorer for the seventh time this season behind her 18 points against Marietta. She also led the Crusaders with eight rebounds and three blocks on the defensive end. She shot 8-for-10 from the field for an amazing 80 percent success rate.
In her final collegiate game, senior Colleen Fondessy (Fostoria, Ohio/St. Wendelin) finished in double digits scoring. She ended the game with 12 points in addition to a team-high six assists. After hitting the 500-point barrier at Otterbein, Fondessy finishes her career with 512 points, 94 assists, 288 rebounds, and 62 blocks.
Marietta was paced by Brooke Borich's 21 points, and was one of four Pioneers to score 10 or more points. Burkhart finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Pioneers will now go on to face top-seeded Ohio Northern University, which is also ranked No. 5 in the latest WBCA Top-25 Poll. That game will be played Thursday night in Ada, Ohio.