By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Top-seeded Capital University Men's Basketball advanced to the semifinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference on Tuesday night by finding an offensive groove and not letting up against No. 8 Muskingum University in a 79-60 win.
With the win, Capital (20-6, 14-4 OAC) reached the 20-win mark for the first time since the 2008-09 season and improved to 14-0 at home this season.
The Crusaders started the game on a 9-0 run and never looked back from there. Will Hannah (Milford, Ohio/Milford) scored the first bucket of the game on the fastbreak off of a diving pass from Joey Weingartner (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville).
Weingartner then fed Caleb Cox (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) on another break after Cox blocked a Muskingum shot on the defensive end and another Capital block led to a fastbreak triple from Austin Schreck (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) and a timeout from Muskingum.
Capital's offense showed no signs of slowing down over the remaining 17 minutes of the first half and the Crusaders held a 47-27 lead at the break. Capital shot 54 percent from the field and held the Fighting Muskies to only 30 percent shooting. The Crusaders had 20 points in the paint to Muskingum's four. Schreck led all scorers with 15 first-half points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from deep. Cox and Hannah each had nine first-half points.
Capital started the second half with another 9-0 run to increase the lead to 29 and Schreck scored six of the nine Capital points while Cox bagged the other three. Muskingum went on a modest run over the next few minutes but Capital maintained a lead of around 20 points for the rest of the game. The exclamation point came with 3:51 to play when a steal by Dan Auble (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville) sprung Hannah free on the break. Auble then lofted the ball ahead to the senior and Hannah slammed it home.
Hannah turned in a strong all-around performance with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Schreck finished with a game-high 23 points and grabbed six boards. Cox narrowly missed another double-double with 22 points and nine rebounds.
As a team, Capital shot better than 50 percent from the floor and held Muskingum to only 32.3 percent shooting including 8-for-29 from deep. Capital had a 42-30 lead on the boards, 16-5 advantage in assists, 38-16 edge in points in the paint and 15-5 lead in fastbreak points. Muskingum never led in the contest.
As the top seed, Capital holds home-court advantage throughout the OAC Tournament and will host Baldwin Wallace University on Thursday night. The Crusaders beat the Yellow Jackets twice during the regular season. Tipoff in The Capital Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.