By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Men's Basketball finished its three-game homestand in the best way possible on Saturday afternoon with a tidy 89-56 victory over rival Otterbein University in each team's Ohio Athletic Conference opener. On a day Capital had it clicking on both sides of the ball, the Crusaders turned in their best defensive effort of the season and scored their second-most points this year.
Senior Joey Weingartner (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville), after tying the program record for most made 3-pointers in a game with nine in Capital's last game, started this one firing with five points in the game's first minute and a half. Will Hannah (Milford, Ohio/Milford) added a layup and made free throw as Capital jumped out to an 8-3 advantage. Both teams traded baskets and Otterbein drew to within one point at 15-14 before the Crusaders went on a run.
A made shot in the post from Caleb Cox (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) got the Crusaders started on an 11-0 run with points from Cox, Gavin Wildermuth (Botkins, Ohio/Jackson Center), Ganiyu Yahaya (Abuja, Nigeria/Wesley Christian), Dan Auble (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville) and Reed Bradfield (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights). Capital's 24-14 lead at the 12:07 mark was Cap's first double-digit lead of the game. The teams then went back to exchanging scores as Capital maintained a lead around 10 points for the remainder of the first half.
Going into the break, Capital led 49-37 and were led by Cox's 11 points and eight rebounds. Weingartner added nine and Wildermuth scored seven off the bench.
In the second half though, the Crusaders took their game to another level and really tuned it on with about 10 minutes left to play in the game. Otterbein scored to make it 57-46 with 14:09 left to play but did not score for almost 10 minutes until there was only 4:11 left in the game. During that time, the Crusaders scored 28 points to open up an 85-46 lead. During the 28-0 run, Cox earned two steals that each led to one thunderous dunk and one layup on the fast break. Senior Austin Schreck (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) also got in on the fun with a steal and a breakaway dunk to add an exclamation point. As Otterbein ended Capital's run, each team put in their benches until time expired.
Cox led all scorers with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting with 15 rebounds, a season high that tied his career-best rebound total. Weingartner scored 16 points while Schreck and Wildermuth finished with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Kobe Long-Weber led Otterbein with 14 points.
Capital shot 37-of-63 from the floor for a season-best 58.7 percent while holding the Cardinals to 32.8 percent shooting, 20-of-61. The Crusaders controlled the boards with a 45-24 rebounding advantage, Capital had a 50-26 advantage in points in the paint and Capital had 23 fast break points to Otterbein's two. Capital limited Otterbein to only 7-of-30 shooting in the second half for 19 points.
The Crusaders (4-2, 1-0 OAC) will look to extend its three-game winning streak to four on Thursday, Dec. 6 when the team travels to Muskingum University. Tip off in New Concord is scheduled for 7 p.m.