By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
BEREA, Ohio – As do most Capital University versus Baldwin Wallace University showdowns, the Crusaders and Yellow Jackets went down to the wire in Saturday afternoon's battle at Urpsrung Gymnasium in Berea, Ohio. Both teams jostled for the lead throughout the fourth quarter, but BW had one more shot in them and held of the Crusaders by a final score of 54-52.
Capital held a four-point lead early in the fourth quarter but after the 8:36 mark there was only two occasions in which either team led by more than three points, and that lasted for a combined 20 seconds. After the Yellow Jackets' Kara Marshall hit two free throws after being fouled with 28 seconds to go. Two possessions later with CU down four, 53-49, the Crusaders caught a break when on the other end freshman Caroline Taphorn was hit while shooting a 3-point shot. While the shot did not land, Taphorn made easy work of three free throws to get Capital back to within two points of the hosts.
Baldwin Wallace called a timeout and nearly turned the ball over on the inbound, but after the ball was bobbled Annika Wachtman was called for the reach-in foul while trying to obtain possession. With BW in the bonus, Hannah Fecht went to the line and made her first shot but missed her second hoping to run out the clock. Freshman Tori Grasso acquired the rebound and the Crusaders promptly called a timeout with 0.8 seconds remaining. After advancing the ball to half court, Capital had one last chance for a catch-and-shoot opportunity. Grasso inbounded the ball to fellow freshman Elle Folan, but her shot was off the mark. Baldwin Wallace held on for the 54-52 victory.
The Yellow Jackets (6-3, 2-2 OAC) started off hot and outscored Capital 18-12 in the opening quarter. While Capital shot an impressive 44.4 percent from the field, a few extra rebounds and a CU turnover helped BW rattle off six more shot attempts. It helped the hosts to hit 4-of-8 from behind the arc, but despite the Jackets holding the hot hand, Capital used the middle frames to stall the BW offense and make up the ground.
Neither team shot well in the second quarter, but Capital took ownership of some superior shooting in the third. Down 26-22 coming out of the half, Capital then went on to shoot 42.9 percent from the field while they held the Yellow Jackets to a mere 18.8 percent. Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) came off the bench and scored all six of her points in the third to help not only regain and extend Cap's lead. Baldwin Wallace was unable to score a single point over the first 3:40 of the game, while Capital slowly overcame them with back-to-back take-and-makes by sophomore Cassidy Bosch (Logan, Ohio/Logan) in the opening minutes. Capital led by as many as five points and took a three-point lead into the final quarter of play.
Caroline Taphorn (Harrison, Ohio/McAuley) finished with a team-high 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and also chipped in four rebounds, one assist and one steal. Her teammate Regan Stonerock (Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) closed out the night with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
The Yellow Jackets (6-3, 2-2 OAC) were paced by Riley Schill's career-high 16 points and was joined by teammate Mary Schentur in double digits. Schentur also collected a career-high point total with 11.
Capital worked the inside most of the game, which led to its 32-14 advantage in points in the paint. They also held the edge over BW in rebounds, 41-31, and second-chance points, 11-3.
Capital (4-5, 1-3 OAC) will now break for the holidays but returns to the court on Friday, Dec. 29 for the third annual Capital / Marriott-Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament. The two-day event will be held Dec 29-30 and invite Kenyon College, Denison University and Franklin College (Ind.) to The Capital Center. Games will begin on Friday at 5 p.m., though the Crusaders will take on the Denison Big Red at 7 p.m. that evening.