Crusaders Kick It into Gear in Second Half, Defeats Hiram

Pictured: Elle Folan (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Pictured: Elle Folan (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – Capital University Women's Basketball returned to the DeCarlo Center at John Carroll University and displayed its offensive side as part of a 61-50 victory over the Hiram College Terriers on Saturday afternoon. Elle Folan dropped 20 in the win to secure an all-tournament team nod, while teammate Regan Stonerock was named tournament most valuable player following a second solid game to help the Crusaders in their second win.

Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field and combined for 41 points in the first quarter and entered the first break with just one point separating them. Sophomore guard Elle Folan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline) 10 of her game-high 20 points in the first quarter and hit all four of her shot attempts plus two free throws to lead the Purple and White.

The second quarter was a different story.

Both teams saw their shooting percentage dip to 25 percent or below with a combined 15 points being scored between them. The Terriers scored the final seven points of the second quarter in the last minute, four of those coming on fast-break layups. Capital committed eight turnovers in the frame and was held to just one basket on eight attempts. The 7-0 run helped the Terriers regain the lead, 31-25, but the lead would be short-lived.

Right out of the gate, sophomore Caroline Taphorn helped lead a 6-2 run with a pair of buckets to tie the game, 33-33. The freshman class fed into the Crusaders' third-quarter breakaway when Brook Ommert (Wakeman, Ohio/Western Reserve) hit a close-range shot and Emma Burns (Westerville, Ohio/St. Francis Desales) nailed a 3-point jumper to build the Capital lead to five, 44-39. Cap outscored the Terriers, 21-10, to turn a six-point deficit into a five-point lead with the fourth quarter yet to play.

Hiram continued to struggle shooting with another quarter with a sub-30 percent team field goal percentage in the fourth quarter and hit just one of its five free throw opportunities. While Hiram closed the gap early in the quarter, Folan hit back-to-back 3-point bombs to take a 52-45 lead with 5:56 left on the clock. Sophomore Riley Hagy (New Lexington, Ohio/Bishop Rosecrans) added to the 3-point assault with a triple to build a nine-point lead and just 2:34 remaining. Hiram had no answer to Capital's second-half offense and was held to 10 or fewer points for the third time in the contest.

Led by Folan's 20 points, Capital maintained a .489 shooting percentage and a plus-seven rebounding advantage over the Terriers. The Crusaders also outscored Hiram 24-12 in the paint, in part due to the performances of Erin Risner (10) and Regan Stonerock (6). Stonerock set a new career high with 18 rebounds in the win.

The JCU Classic All-Tournament Team was announced later in the evening and featured two Crusaders. Elle Folan was named to the all-tournament team after finishing the weekend with 26 points, 6-of-12 shooting from distance, two steals, and four assists.

Regan Stonerock was inked as the Most Valuable Player with her remarkable performance on the boards to go along with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting. She also tallied two steals, one block and five assists to go along with 23 total rebounds over the weekend.

Capital is now 2-0 after the opening weekend and will prepare for a matchup with the Wittenberg University Tigers on Tuesday, Nov. 20 in Springfield, Ohio. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.