By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Men's Basketball showed no signs of Thanksgiving-induced sluggishness on Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders achieved their highest point total of the year in a 90-81 win over Ohio Wesleyan University.
The Crusaders started as swiftly as they have at any point this year and after taking a 7-6 lead at the 17:16 mark, Capital did not trail again in the contest. Caleb Cox (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) scored Capital's first four points and Joey Weingartner (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) hit the 3-pointer that put the Crusaders ahead.
After a quick run, Ohio Wesleyan cut the score to 12-9 at 15:20 but that sparked a 15-0 Capital run that resulted in a 27-9 Capital advantage. The lead first reached double digits with 13:01 left on the first-half clock when a layup from Gavin Wildermuth (Botkins, Ohio/Jackson Center) made the score 20-9. Capital's offense could not be stopped or even slowed down as the Crusaders reached the 50-point mark with 2:21 left in the opening half, the point at which Capital held its largest lead of the game, 22 points at 50-28.
Cox played like a man possessed in the first half, finishing the first 20 minutes with 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. The senior forward put several exclamation points on his effort with two first-half dunks and three steals. Weingartner scored 13 in the first half and Wildermuth scored nine off the bench.
After halftime, OWU battled its way back into the game with a 12-0 run that cut Capital's advantage to 50-40 and by the 13:46 mark, OWU had slashed its deficit to only three points, 55-52. The gap lessened to only two points at the 9:57 mark after OWU nailed a jumper and 3-pointer. Shortly after though, Capital found its offensive groove again with the help of another senior.
After going scoreless for the first 30-plus minutes of the game, guard Austin Schreck (Erlnager, Ky./Dixie Heights) ignited the team with a layup to put Capital ahead 66-62 and drew the foul to earn a free throw. The senior converted from the charity stripe and then a few minutes later a 3-point attempt from Schreck found the bottom of the net to increase the lead to 10 again, 72-62. After OWU made the score 64-62 at the 9:18 mark, Capital embarked on a 12-0 run capped off by a steal and breakaway dunk from Cox that put the game out of OWU's reach at 76-62 with just over five minutes to play.
As time ticked away, OWU began to foul Capital to preserve time but the Bishops were only handing Capital free points. The Crusaders went a perfect 22-of-22 from the free throw line in the game and Will Hannah (Milford, Ohio/Milford) scored the final six Capital points to ice the game.
Cox finished the game with a game-high 25 points with nine rebounds, four assists and five steals. Weingartner and Hannah each had 17 points and Hannah added 10 boards and four assists. Schreck finished the game with 10 points and Wildermuth had 13, meaning Capital's five seniors combined for 82 of its 90 points. Capital shot 32-of-63 from the field as a team and held a 38-24 advantage in the rebounding department. Capital also led 12-4 in fastbreak points.
The Crusaders are now looking forward to another home contest on Wednesday, Nov. 28 when Adrian College (Mich.) comes to town. The Crusaders and Bulldogs are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.