Strong Defense Helps Crusaders Deliver First Loss to Polar Bears

Pictured: Emma Burns (credit: Joe Maiorana)
Pictured: Emma Burns (credit: Joe Maiorana)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In its final game of the 2019 calendar year the Capital University women's basketball team took down previously undefeated Ohio Northern University, 53-38. Behind a strong defensive effort and standout performances by Emma Burns and Elli Wachtman, the Crusaders handed the Polar Bears their first loss of the season from inside The Capital Center on Saturday afternoon.

Final statistics

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AN EARLY, BUT SHORT-LIVED LEAD

  • While Capital scores the game's first points, Ohio Northern carried a slim lead into the first break, 12-11.
  • Ohio Northern kept Capital out of the scoring column for nearly 3:25 while mounting a 12-6 lead through an 8-0 run.
  • Capital clawed back to within one point following a three-point play by senior Elli Wachtman backed by a layup by senior Cassidy Bosch inside the final 20 seconds.

THAT DEFENSE THOUGH

  • Capital's defense kicked into another gear in the middle frames. Combined, the Crusaders held the Polar Bears to 6-for-28 (.214) field goal shooting in the second and third quarters and just 16 points.
  • ONU tried to make up for lost ground with its 3-point game but was held to 1-for-9 shooting from long range in that 20-minute span.
  • Ohio Northern was stuck on 16 points for a significant amount of time in the second quarter. Capital kept the Polar Bears off the board entirely for nearly six minutes while it made its play for the lead.
  • Emily Mescher was the only Polar Bear to score in the second quarter, accounting for 10 of their points.
  • Capital turned it up another notch in the third by allowing just two field goals to ONU. Emily Brock hit ONU's lone 3 in the second half as part of just a six-point third quarter for the guests.

BURNING UP

  • Sophomore guard Emma Burns (Westerville, Ohio / St. Francis Desales) began heating up in the second quarter with the 3-ball. She helped Capital to its first lead since the first basket of the game with her triple from the wing to put Cap up 16-14 with 8:25 in the second.
  • After ONU tied it up at 16, Burns came back with a second consecutive trey from the opposite wing to give Cap a lead it would not relinquish. She then came back to hit a third 3-pointer to increase Cap's lead to six, 22-16, and had five in the second quarter alone.
  • Fifteen of her team-high 21 points came in the second quarter.

SEEING DOUBLE

  • Fresh off of an 18-point performance in its win over Muskingum, Elli Wachtman (Upper Arlington, Ohio / Upper Arlington) quietly notched her first double-double in nearly three years. The senior dropped 11 points on the Polar Bears and collected a career-high 14 rebounds.
  • Wachtman's only other career double-double came on December 29, 2016 when she scored 23 points and recorded 10 rebounds during her freshman campaign.
  • Today also marked Wachtman's first start since January 18, 2017 prior to a season-ending injury.

KEY NUMBERS AND CONTRIBUTORS

  • Wachtman (18) and Burns (21) lead Cap's scoring effort but was joined in double figures by senior Cassidy Bosch (Logan, Ohio / Logan) behind her 10 points. Bosch also had eight rebounds in the win.
  • Caroline Taphorn (Harrison, Ohio / McAuley) led the defense with three steals and also dished out eight assists, one short of tying her season and career high. In her last three games she has 20 helpers (6.6 assists/game).
  • Ohio Northern was led by Emily Mescher who finished with 21 points but was held to just seven in the second half.
  • Over the course of the game, ONU shot just 26.3 percent (15-57) from the field and committed 16 turnovers which turned into nine Cap points.
  • Capital held a plus-three rebound margin over ONU, which came into the game outrebounding their opponent by an average 10 boards per game.
  • Capital had another solid effort from 3-point range, hitting 42.9 percent (6-14) of its long-range attempts, while ONU was held to just 3-of-21 (.143) on the day.
  • The loss was the first for Ohio Northern (6-1, 2-1 OAC) this season. They defeated nationally-ranked University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in earlier season action.

UP NEXT

Capital (5-3, 2-1 OAC) will break for two weeks and return to the court on December 28 for the first leg of its annual holiday tournament. The Crusaders will host the Capital/Marriott Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament on December 28-29 and open play against Goucher College (Md.), now led by former Capital assistant coach, Andrea Preston. The Gophers and Crusaders will play the second game of the game with a tentative start time of 7 p.m.

Capital/Marriott Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament