By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Faced with a 15-point deficit to overcome at halftime, Capital University Women's Basketball roared back against the Wittenberg University Tigers to create a one-possession game with 1:40 to go in Tuesday night's game at The Capital Center. Wittenberg was able to force a key turnover late and outlast the Crusaders when put on the free-throw line to deliver Capital a 56-52 loss.
Wittenberg's lead was 17 points at its largest with 27 seconds remaining in the second quarter, which carried over halfway through the third quarter. With under four minutes to go in the third stanza, Capital made its move to begin chipping away at the Wittenberg lead and dropped it to single digits before the end of the frame. The turnaround was spurred by freshman Elle Folan's jumper followed by a layup by sophomore Regan Stonerock (Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) that came off of Jocie Kaiser's steal. Freshman Carlie Hulette (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) made a close range jumper to bring the Wittenberg lead to just 10 points, 39-29, and Stonerock's free throws following a foul brought to lead down to eight before the quarter expired, ending a 10-1 run by Capital.
Hulette poured four more points into the run at the top of the fourth to make for a two-possession game with 9:12 to go. However, Cap missed its next five field goal attempts to stall its offensive run. Wittenberg was only able to increase its lead to eight, 43-35, despite Capital's struggles.
Capital continued to crash the low post and with baskets by junior Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) and senior Annika Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington), that lead turned to just three points. Capital kept within arm's length of the Tigers and trailed by just two points, 50-48, with 1:40 to go following Stonerock's second two-point field goal of the day.
Capital then had a chance to tie the game when Caroline Taphorn corralled a rebound with 1:09 to go, by Elle Folan's pass upcourt was intercepted by Delaney Williams. While Wittenberg missed its shot attempt on the ensuing possession, Wittenberg's work on the boards came to its aid with two offensive rebounds to keep possession, prompting Capital to begin fouling with 28 seconds remaining. Up just three points with 18 ticks to go, Korynne Berner came down with another key offensive rebound on a Williams free throw miss which allowed the Tigers to increase its lead from the charity stripe.
Both team broke 33 percent from the field and both committed 19 turnovers over the course of the game. Capital actually held the advantage in rebounds for much of the contest until Wittenberg controlled the boards over the final two minutes. Wittenberg also held a large advantage in the 3-point game, hitting seven to Capital's one.
Risner had her third straight game with at least 10 points after collecting that many against the Tigers, and Hulette matched her with 10 points off the bench in her collegiate debut. Hulette hit 4-of-6 shots from the field and both of her free throw attempts.
Wittenberg (2-1) was led by Williams (15) and Kristie Kalis (14) in the scoring department, and no other Tiger player scored more than seven.
Capital (1-2) will rebound after the holiday break and return to the court on Wednesday, Nov. 29 when the Crusaders head to Pittsburgh, Pa. to take on Carnegie Mellon University at 6 p.m.