By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
ADA, Ohio – Fresh off of her first double-double of the season senior Erin Risner went back for more and she brought Regan Stonerock to the post party with her. The dynamic duo both recorded double figures in points and rebounds to lead Capital University Women's Basketball to a hot start at the ONU Sports Complex and its sixth consecutive win following Saturday afternoon's 63-56 road win over the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears.
Neither team had problems finding the bottom of the bucket in the first quarter, leading to a combined 39 points scored between the Crusaders and the Polar Bears. Junior Regan Stonerock (Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) was responsible for 10 of those points and was halfway to her second double-double of the season by adding five rebounds in the first stanza alone. While Ohio Northern evenly spread out the offensive success and shot 50 percent in the first quarter, Capital upped them by maintaining a 66.7 percent shooting mark, all coming from short or medium range.
Separated by just five points heading in the second quarter, 22-17, the Crusaders maintained the hot hand though it shifted to senior Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) who went 3-for-5 from the field for six points in the frame. Cap continued to shoot north of 50 percent and stepped it up on the defensive end, as well. They forced ONU into eight turnovers and held the Polar Bears to just 3-of-10 (.300) shooting from the field with no player hitting more than one field goal or scoring more than three points. The breakaway was slow but steady as Capital turned a five-point lead into a 14-point advantage toward the final minute of the first half.
Capital's offense hit a rough spot in the third quarter and while Ohio Northern was only marginally better it was enough to erase much of that deficit and turn it into a two-possession game, 47-43. Fortunately for Capital the team got back in stride on the offensive side while continuing to stifle the Polar Bears. Stonerock and Risner went a combined 4-for-5 from the field to feed into a team shooting percentage of .556 in the fourth quarter, while the hosts went just 4-of-16 (.250). Though Polar Bears made it a 43-41 game with 4:25 to go, Capital kicked it into another gear defensively down the stretch. Neither team scored for 1:32 of game time before Stonerock ended the drought with a layup followed up by one of Risner hits from under the bucket.
The Crusaders kept Ohio Northern scoreless for a span of 2:31 and then for a second two-minute stretch after that to help build its lead back up to 10, 55-45, with just over five minutes remaining. The Polar Bears threatened to come back once again by trimming that lead to four with 3:08 to go, but Risner and Stonerock again answered the call for tough baskets to keep the Polar Bears at bay.
Risner and Stonerock both finished with 18 points and they both achieved double-doubles by game's end. Risner (12) held a slim edge over Stonerock (10) for the rebounding lead. Both also recorded one block. For Risner it is her second game in a row with 10 or more points and rebounds after putting up 15 points and 11 rebounds against Muskingum University just two days ago.
Caroline Taphorn (Harrison, Ohio/McAuley) ran the offense efficiently with a new career-high eight assists to go along with her five points. Riley Hagy (New Lexington, Ohio/Bishop Rosecrans) tallied double digits in the scoring column for the second time this season after posting 10 against ONU in the win.
Abby Weeks and Jenna Kirksen paced Ohio Northern with 14 points, each. The Polar Bears shot just 35.7 percent compared to Capital's 52.0 percent from the field, and hit just 7-of-20 (.350) 3-point attempts.
Capital (6-0, 3-0 OAC) has now won six straight games to begin the season, marking the first time since the beginning of the 2015-16 season that it has accomplished the feat. The next-longest winning streak to begin a season since 2000 is eight games, which the 2005-06 team achieved. The most wins to start a season since 2000 is 10, done so by the 2004-05 squad.