By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Following a lull with the first leg of the holiday break and the conclusion finals week, it was only fitting that Capital's first test in its return to the hardwood be against rival Otterbein University. The Crusaders rose to the occasion and battled through back-and-forth play and numerous lead changes to outlast the Cardinals, 64-58, at The Rike Center in Westerville, Ohio on Saturday night.
- Otterbein kicked off the game by going on an 8-2 run, capped off by a 3-pointer from the far wing.
- Capital's Cameron Caldwell broke the drought with a pair of free throws, spurring a 9-0 run in response. Freshman Ryan Roth nailed Cap's lone 3-pointer of the half to give the Purple and White its first lead, 11-8, just under the 15-minute mark.
BACK AND FORTH
- The first half featured 10 lead changes alone with the biggest lead for either team being just six points, held by the Cardinals.
- After Otterbein clawed back to gain the lead and hold it under the 10-minute mark, sophomore forward Reed Bradfield (Dixie Heights, Ky. / Dixie Heights) battled back and scored four straight points, all on the inside, to help Cap regain the lead and push the score to 27-24 with 4:52 remaining in the first half.
- Cap held on to that lead until Otterbein's Reid Black hit a jumper to put the Cardinals up 30-29, a score that would be taken into the locker room. Both teams were held scoreless for the final 1:50 of the half.
- Reed Bradfield scored nine points and added a block and a steal in the first half, while senior Ganiyu Yahaya (Abuja, Nigeria/Wesleyan Christian) added eight points and four rebounds.
- Capital shot 42.9 percent (12-28) from the field, slightly lower than Otterbein which hit 44.8 (13-29) of its field goal attempts. Neither team shot well from behind the arc, combining to go 4-for-20 (.200). Cap shot just 1-of-10 from long range.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
- Capital took as much as a five-point lead early in the second half, but it did not last long and the back-and-forth game persisted. Otterbein erased that lead and tied the game at 40 each with 13:12 remaining when Dallas Patrick hit a jumper.
- Ganiyu Yahaya hit from deep to break the double-digit point barrier and put Cap up 47-45 with 10:38 remaining. Bradfield added to that lead with another jumper for two. Both teams then went scoreless for 1:30. With Capital's next bucket by sophomore Tyler Schreck (Erlanger, Ky. / Dixie Heights) on a drive to the hole, Cap captured its largest lead at six points.
- Otterbein then returned fire with five straight points and drew within one when Justin Carter hit a jumper from under the bucket and was fouled. His made free throw made it 51-50, Capital with 7:19 remaining.
- Capital saw its lead balloon to eight points with the combination of Schreck, Yahaya and Griffin Doseck hitting the inside game.
- Dallas Patrick hit a 3-pointer and followed up with a pair of free throws to keep the Cardinals in it, 58-55.
- Tyler Schreck answered on the other end, taking a pass from Joe Hartmann on a drive to the bucket and converting the layup to retain a five-point lead.
- Capital's defense stepped up big when moments later Cameron Caldwell sniffed out an attempted 3-pointer in the near corner and swatted Nick Koontz's shot into the crowd. On the inbound, the Crusaders forced an errant pass that led an Otterbein player to step on the sideline and turn the ball over with 1:37 remaining and the Capital lead at six points.
- Otterbein scored just once more while the CU defense held the Cardinals to just 1-of-6 shooting in the final three-plus minutes.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Cameron Caldwell (Westerville, Ohio / Westerville South) served as Cap's leading scorer behind 15 points and was one of three players to it double figures in the category.
- Joining Caldwell with 10 or more points was Reed Bradfield (14) and Ganiyu Yahaya (13). Bradfield also finished with four rebounds, an assist and one block while shooting 6-of-13 from the field. Yahaya went 6-of-10 from the field and added five boards, one assist and one steal.
- Freshman Griffin Doseck (Anna, Ohio / Anna) landed nine points off the bench plus six rebounds and two helpers.
- Otterbein was led by Dallas Patrick's 16 points and 6-of-13 shooting, while Justin Carter joined him in double figures with 14 points.
- Capital and Otterbein's numbers were comparable in most areas with the exception of free throw attempts and success. Cap hit the line 26 times and converted 15 freebies (.577) while Otterbein's chances were fewer (7) though they shot 85.7 percent from the charity stripe.
- The Purple and White committed just 11 turnovers to Otterbein's 15 and yielded 15 points on those Cardinal turnovers.
The meeting served as the first between current Otterbein head coach Andy Winters and Capital head coach Damon Goodwin. Winters is in his first season with the Cardinals after spending five years as an assistant on the Capital staff, adding more to the already intense rivalry. The Cardinals are now 3-4 (1-0 OAC) following Saturday night's loss.
Capital, now 4-3 overall and 1-0 in OAC play, will ready itself for a midweek conference matchup at home versus Muskingum University. The Muskies and the Crusaders will meet at The Capital Center Performance Arena on Wednesday, December 11 at 7 p.m.