By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
WILMINGTON, Ohio – Capital Women's Basketball played its strongest in the middle frames, and with a 14-point swing in the third quarter easily defeated the Fightin' Quakers of Wilmington College, 61-35, on Wednesday night. Caroline Taphorn tied a career high with 19 points at Fred Raizk Arena to lead CU to its sixth victory of the season.
Capital (6-6, 2-3 OAC) outscored Wilmington (7-5, 2-3 OAC) by a combined 37-17 between the second and third quarters of action on Hermann Court, leading them to a victory in its first action of 2018. Freshman Caroline Taphorn (Harrison, Ohio/McAuley) went 8-for-10 from field goal range and added five assists in her best game wearing purple and white. She finished with 19 points, tying a career high set on Nov. 29 against Carnegie Mellon University.
Wilmington struggled on the offensive end through the entire game, ending with a team shooting percentage of just 24.4 percent (11-45) from the field and hit just 2-of-11 3-point attempts. The Fightin' Quakers turned the ball over 17 times, leading to 17 Capital points. Cap dominated the boards and held a plus-12 margin in that category over the hosts.
After both teams exited the first quarter tied 11-11, CU scored six of the first seven points of the second quarter with four of those coming from junior Erin Risner. Neither team scored over the next two-plus minutes and a short burst of offense at the end of the half by Cassidy Bosch and Taphorn helped Cap increase its lead to six, 28-22, heading into the locker room. Those four points fed into an 8-0 run that continued into the third quarter.
The Crusaders continued to roll and ballooned that run to 16-2. During the run, Wilmington failed to hit but one field goal through the first 6:49 of the quarter and committed four turnovers in that time. Capital's led hit 20 at that point, 44-24, but reached as high as 29 midway through the fourth quarter.
The Crusaders' defense surrendered just six points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth. Cap imposed its will in the third, outscoring the Quakers 20-6 behind a 50 percent (7-14) success rate from the field and from 3-point range (3-6). Eleven of Taphorn's 19 points came in the middle quarters, and she contributed four in both the first and fourth frames, as well.
Joining Taphorn in double figures were teammates Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) and Annika Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington). Risner finished with 12 behind 5-for-11 shooting. She also added seven rebounds, two steals and an assist in her return to the starting lineup. Wachtman scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting and added two rebounds.
Regan Stonerock helped Cap hold a large rebounding edge over Wilmington by contributing a game-high nine boards.
Wednesday's win also brought Head Coach Dixie Jeffers one closer to hitting career victory number 700. Jeffers entered the season with 692 wins and now has 698 heading into the weekend. Her career record over 32 years of coaching currently stands at 698-239.
The Crusaders look to add to those numbers this Saturday when they host John Carroll University (3-9, 0-4 OAC) at The Capital Center Performance Arena. The Blue Steaks and Crusaders will tip off at 3 p.m.