By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In round one of an annual rivalry showdown, the Capital women's basketball team hosted its neighbor to the north at The Capital Center. Despite holding as many as a 10-point lead, the Cardinals of Otterbein University managed to slip past and defeat the Crusaders, 62-60, on Saturday afternoon.
Capital (3-4, 1-2 OAC) took a five-point lead into the final quarter of play following a strong finish to the previous frame by the Cardinals, which included back-to-back field goals and a caused turnover. That lead stood all the way to the 2:30 mark when Capital's lead began to dwindle and Dani Kissel made a statement with her play. Kissel hit a jumper to cut the CU lead to three, 55-52, and after Katie Harrop hit 1-of-2 free throws the lead grew to four. Kiersten Taylor put a good move to the bucket and hit a layup to trim it to two points, and junior Erin Risner missed a layup on the other end to give Otterbein the chance to tie it up. Taylor did so with another successful take to the hoop, making it 56 all with a foul shot coming to complete an and-one play with less than one minute remaining. The free throw make gave the Cardinals the lead and another Capital turnover put Otterbein in the driver's seat for the duration.
Down three following two Ali Cartnal free throws, Elle Folan had a chance to cut into the lead but missed her look under the hoop. Kissel fouled Regan Stonerock on the rebound attempt and the sophomore made both freebies to make it a one-point game. That margin stood after Capital answered once again with Carlie Hulette's close-range bucket.
With eight seconds on the clock, Stonerock had one last chance to tie the game but was defended well by Kissel, who blocked the shot attempt and kept the score in Otterbein's favor as the final horn sounded.
Capital possessed as large a lead as 10 points twice in the game, both instances coming in the middle periods. Freshman Elle Folan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline) had a large hand in that with a strong performance on the offensive end, especially from deep. She went 4-for-6 from behind the arc in the first half, helping her accumulate 12 of her team-high 15 points in the first half.
With a four-point lead in hand coming out of halftime, Capital kept Otterbein scoreless over the first four minutes of the third quarter. A steal and layup on the fastbreak broke the Otterbein drought after Capital went on to score the first five points of the stanza. Folan was soon fouled while attempting a 3-pointer and hit all three free throws to give Capital its second 10-point lead of the game. The third quarter ended with Otterbein hitting back-to-back field goals and a caused turnover to end the third down by just five points, 47-42. Otterbein then quietly kept within reach before making its final push, leading to its victory.
Folan was one of three Crusaders to finish with 10 or more points on the afternoon. She was joined by Bosch (11) and Stonerock (13). Stonerock was one rebound shy of a double-double after she finished with nine, plus two steals and one assist.
Otterbein's Kiersten Taylor led all scorers with 23 points and added seven rebounds. She hit 10-of-16 field goal attempts on the day. Only Kissel joined her in double digits after scoring 11 points.
Capital and Otterbein matched up evenly in many stat columns, though the Cardinals got to the free-throw line eight more times and hit six more attempts despite finishing with just 64 percent success rate. Capital, conversely, went just 10-of-17 (.588) from the line.
The Crusaders are now primed to host Allegheny College (Pa.) on Tuesday night in the last of its three straight home games. Tipoff against the Gators is set for 6 p.m. from The Capital Center Performance Arena.