By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the second consecutive year Capital University Women's Basketball knocked off a higher-seeded opponent to advance to the second round of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Tournament. After defeating the University of Mount Union, the Crusaders now travel to Marietta College to take on the nationally-ranked and second-seeded Pioneers at Ban Johnson Arena on Thursday, Feb. 22. Game time is set for 6 p.m. as part of a doubleheader.
Thursday, February 22, 2018 | 6 p.m. | Ban Johnson Arena
HOW WE GOT HERE
Both teams had a similar start to their respective quarter-final games, each starting slow and eventually picking up the pace and overcoming their opponent.
Capital actually missed each of its first seven shots and hit just 2-of-12 to begin the game, but with stout defense kept within arm's length of the Purple Raiders. Eventually, the Crusaders put together 15 unanswered points with great help from junior forward Erin Risner. The lead they generated was necessary in holding off the hosts who drew within one point toward the end of the fourth quarter, but Capital answered with a key make and converted its free throws to ward off the Raiders' attack, thus defeating Mount Union 65-60. Risner put forth a career-high 22 points in the win.
Marietta took a little longer to reacquire its lead. After trailing John Carroll by seven points at the half, the Pioneers scored the first 10 points out of the break to jump on top. The lead was there but narrow as they entered the final frame. Up three, Marietta started the period strongly again with a 10-3 run to begin the fourth quarter. Corrie Burkhardt's 3-pointer with 5:14 extended the Pioneer lead to 14, which was more than enough to ride on to victory. Shay Lett led Marietta with 23 points, 10 coming from the free-throw line.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET
Marietta swept the season series against the Crusaders, but it was not without a challenge. In their first meeting, Capital fell by just four points, 58-54. In their next meeting Capital took a 35-26 lead into halftime, but the Pioneers exploded on the offensive end with 54 points over the final two frames. Marietta's 3-point game led to its second-half comeback after they hit 7-of-18 from behind the arc, five from Brooke Borich. Cap fell to Marietta in that contest, 80-67.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
In those games, Capital's Elle Folan served as the high scorer with 15 and 16 points, respectively. The freshman has the capacity to light it up from around the floor, which she showed against nationally-ranked Ohio Northern when she went 9-for-12 from the field and 7-for-10 from 3-point range en route to scoring a career-high 26 points. Erin Risner is coming off a career-high 22-point game in the OAC Quarterfinals and has now scored 10 or more points in seven of her last nine games. Freshman Caroline Taphorn has also turned it on as of late. She has three straight games with 15 or more points and two 20-plus point games, including a career-high 21 point game in the regular season finale.
Shay Lett (23) was the high scorer in Tuesday's win over John Carroll, but against Capital has been held to just seven points and was shutout in their opening game. Four of the starting five ended the day with 10 or more points in their second meeting, including the sharpshooter Brooke Borich and her team-leading 21 points. She leads the Pioneers and is sixth in the conference in scoring (13.9 ppg). Look out for the distributor, Amisha Herd, who scores 12.8 points and dishes out 4.3 assists per game. Down low, Corrie Burkhardt will set the tone behind her 10.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest. Her rebound total ties Capital's Regan Stonerock for third in the conference.
KEY STATS TO WATCH
Points per game - Marietta, 1st (.783) -- Capital, 9th (61.1)
Field goal percentage - Marietta, 2nd (.417) -- Capital, 5th (.408)
3-point field goal percentage - Marietta, 6th (.305) -- Capital, 3rd (.347)
Free-throw percentage - Marietta, 8th (.689) -- Capital, 6th (.705)
Rebounds per game - Marietta, 1st (42.9) -- Capital, 9th (35.8)
Marietta and Capital met in the semifinals of last year's OAC Tournament as well. Marietta defeated Capital, 89-64, in the contest. Thursday serves as a redemption match not just for its losses to the Pioneers this season, but also in last year's season-ended loss.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
The winner of tonight's contest will face the winner of No. 4 Otterbein versus No. 1 Ohio Northern on Saturday, 3 p.m. The game will take place at the site of the highest remaining seed. Capital was in the OAC Tournament Championship most previously at the end of the 2014-15 season when they played Baldwin Wallace to a loss in defensive slugfest, 50-46.
ADMISSON PRICES / TICKET INFORMATION
The women's game is set for 6:00 p.m. and will be followed by the men's game at 8:00 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the women's game. The doubleheader will be treated as a single session; meaning tickets are good for both games. Ban Johnson Arena will NOT be cleared between games. All ticket purchases are cash-only transactions.
Adults - $12
Seniors (62+) - $8
Non-OAC students - $5
OAC students (with a valid ID) - free
OAC Lifetime passes - free
OAC parent passes will not be honored.