By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Women's Basketball gave No. 19/23 Marietta College everything it could handle through three quarters of play in Wednesday night's conference affair, but the Pioneers rallied in the fourth to steal the victory by a 58-54 final score at The Capital Center.
Capital's defense was stout through the middle frames and impressively shutout two of Marietta's five starters after the final horn sounded. The Pioneers were able to muster just 15 points between the second and third quarters and were held to just 21.4 percent shooting from the field. Starters Jenna Andersen and Shay Lett, who came into the game averaging 16.7 points per game combined were held to zero points by the Crusaders. Brooke Borich, the Pioneers' sharpshooter, went just 1-for-6 shooting and was held to four total points.
The Crusaders' and Pioneers' offenses highlighted the first quarter after they combined for 33 points and just one separated them. Freshman Elle Folan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline) went 3-for-3, all from distance, to account for nine of her team-high 15 points.
The Pioneers committed eight turnovers and shot just 18.2 percent (2-11) in the second quarter. In the meantime, CU battled and regained the lead behind junior Erin Risner's layup. Both teams were held without a point over the final 3:21 of the quarter, but Capital maintained its one-point lead heading into halftime.
Cap's lead escalated to nine points via a strong start to the third quarter while Marietta continued to struggle on the offensive end. The Pioneers were held scoreless for an additional 5:43 coming out of the break while Folan added two more 3-pointers amidst a 10-0 run to open the second half. Regan Stonerock added a pair of steals while Risner tallied a block on the defensive end to get the crowd on its feet, but the fourth quarter told a different tale.
Laura Pullins kicked off the fourth quarter with a 3-point make to help Marietta pull within two points right off the get-go. Senior guard Annika Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) countered with a jumper to make the score 39-35 in Cap's favor, but then the Pioneers began putting on the defensive pressure which paid dividends. Pullins came back with another trey, and then Cap committed the first of seven turnovers in the quarter, which aided in Marietta's comeback.
Marlo Taylor added another 3-pointer to tie the game, 41-41, with 5:59 to go before another turnover turned into a Marietta bucket and lead. Taylor and Folan traded threes and Risner brought Cap within one point, 50-49, with just 1:18 remaining. Carlie Hulette kept the deficit to just one with a three-ball with 20 seconds to go, but following a pair of free throws by Borich the Crusaders' deep inbound pass was intercepted and allowed the Pioneers to seal their victory, 58-54.
Folan finished with 15 points and was one of three Crusaders to finish in double-digits. She was joined by Risner (11) and Annika Wachtman (10). Risner tallied her second double-double of the season after adding 12 rebounds.
Capital managed to outshoot Marietta per its 42.6 shooting percentage compared to the Pioneers' 35.7, however, they were outrebounded by 10 and committed 24 turnovers. Marietta generated nine more scoring chances from the field and went to the free-throw line 11 more times than Capital, aiding in it outscoring the hosts 26-17 in the fourth quarter.
Pullins led Marietta (15-1, 8-1 OAC) with 16 points off the bench in addition to her four rebounds and three steals. Amisha Herd finished with 12 points, while Corrie Burkhardt tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Capital (8-8, 4-5 OAC) will hit the road for its next two games, beginning with round two of its rivalry with Otterbein University on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. from The Rike Center.