By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
TIFFIN, Ohio – While Wednesday night's 69-53 victory over Heidelberg University serves as a single win in the stat column, Capital Women's Basketball also scored a huge victory for its head coach, Dixie Jeffers. The Crusaders not only won their third straight contest to improve their conference standing, but also helped Jeffers bring home the 700th victory of her illustrious career.
While Jeffers served as the postgame focal point, 40 minutes of solid basketball was first played to build up to the milestone moment. Capital built two double-digit leads over the course of the game, but its second that came at the start of the fourth quarter shot the team out of a cannon and into victory lane.
Tied 39-39 with less than two minutes to go in the third quarter, Capital took advantage of a pair of Heidelberg misses and built up a six-point lead. The Students Princes, as they had twice already, battled back to trim that lead to just two points following their first possession of the fourth quarter. It was then that Capital rattled off a 9-1 run to bulk its lead back up to 10 points, 54-44, with just over six minutes remaining.
Sophomore Regan Stonerock (Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) started the final run by responding to a layup on the other end with one of her own, marking her 13th and 14th points of the game. A second Heidelberg miss allowed Cassidy Bosch to add to that lead, and then the sophomore returned with another bucket while driving into the painted area. Junior Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) continued her recent impressive play with a make later in the run to boost the lead to 10 points, 54-44.
Capital kept the pressure up and continued to grow its lead to the final margin of 16 points before the final horn sounded. The Wachtman sisters helped get it to that place with six straight points being scored between them near the five-minute mark. Sophomore Elli Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) scored back-to-back buckets and recorded a steal before her sister, Annika, added another layup to all but seal the victory.
Elli Wachtman, the reigning OAC Freshman of the Year, scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in just 13 minutes on the floor. It was her first action since Jan. 18, 2017 after she missed the remainder of the year to an injury. She also snagged a rebound and recorded one block on the evening.
Sophomore Addie Becker (Lakeview, Ohio/Lakeview) also made her Crusader debut on Wednesday night after missing the 2016-17 season due to a knee injury.
Capital (8-6, 4-3 OAC) dominated the glass, pulling down 15 more rebounds than Heidelberg. They also conquered the painted area, outscoring the Student Princes 52-22 in the paint. The Crusaders had the hot hand and shot better than 50 percent in the second and fourth quarters, finishing the night with a team shooting percentage of 44.6.
Risner paced the Crusaders with 16 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field and had a team-high four assists. She was joined in the double-digit club by Stonerock, who posted her second double-double of the season behind 15 points and 14 rebounds, and freshman Carlie Hulette (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills). Hulette scored 10 points, marking the third time she has hit double figures this year. Stonerock tied her career-high in rebounds, which she set last year versus Wilmington College nearly one year ago.
Heidelberg (4-10, 2-5 OAC) was led by Madelyn Crawford's 15 points and 12 rebounds. She was aided by Alyssa Riley's 11 points, though Heidelberg's success did not reach much farther after the team shot just 33.9 percent over the course of the game.
Capital will now play host to the University of Mount Union (6-8, 3-4 OAC) on Saturday, Jan. 13 at The Capital Center. Prior to the 3 p.m. tipoff, Coach Jeffers will be recognized for her 700th career win.