By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – From start to finish the Capital University women's basketball team had control of Saturday's championship round matchup against the one-loss Carnegie Mellon University Tartans. The names of the major contributors may have changed slightly but the results remained the same following Capital's 71-42 victory over the Tartans, clinching the title in this year's Capital/Marriott Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament.
Freshman Emma Burns (Westerville, Ohio/St. Francis Desales) had the crowd on its feet early with 10 first-quarter points, including back-to-back triples from opposite sides of the floor. Burns was key in Capital's hot start out of the gate in which the Crusaders hit their first six field goal attempts of the game, three from distance. Burns hit a third straight shot to make the score 17-9 and with a pair of Addie Becker free throws, Capital enjoyed its first double-digit lead of the game.
The Crusader defense made a splash in the second quarter when they held Carnegie Mellon (9-2) to just 3-of-17 shooting from the field and created four more turnovers for a first-half total of 10. CMU finished with 17 turnovers, which led to a total of 25 of Capital's 71 points.
The Tartans long-range game was nonexistent after they went 0-for-5 in the second quarter and then went 0-for-4 in the third. The Tartans never shot better than 30 percent in a given quarter after the first and were outscored 36-16 in the middle two frames. That slow but steady breakaway created a 20-plus point lead that ballooned to 31 by game's end.
Cap also tallied three blocks, two of those going to forward Regan Stonerock (Circleville, Ohio/Westfall). The junior also finished with five rebounds and two assists to accompany nine points.
Per her M.O., Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) quietly picked up 12 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. She also dished out a team-high four assists and shot 50 percent on the afternoon.
Burns set a new career high in scoring after finishing the day with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor. She also shot 50 percent from distance, hitting 4-of-8 attempts.
Capital (8-4) finished the day shooting 39.7 percent to CMU's 27.9 percent. The Crusaders also held advantages in rebounds (48-34), points off turnovers (25-3), second-chance points (14-9), fastbreak points (14-9), points in the paint (28-14), and bench points (19-9).
After the game, the Crusaders received its tournament championship plaque and had two members of the team earn all-tournament nods. Elle Folan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline) was the first Crusader honored after scoring 25 total points, four rebounds and three assists. Nineteen of those points came in the team's Friday night win over Fredonia State University.
With a double-double effort on Saturday and a second 10-plus rebound effort, Erin Risner was named tournament most valuable player.
In the four years of the tournament's existence, this is now the second time the Crusaders have won the title. The other occasion was in the tournament's first year (2015) when they defeated Misericordia University and then nationally-ranked Calvin College in overtime.
Capital will now rest and return in 2019 ready to reenter Ohio Athletic Conference play. The Crusaders will play the University of Mount Union on Jan. 5 in Alliance, Ohio. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.