By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Much was on the line at Saturday afternoon's women's basketball game between Capital University and the University of Mount Union. Not only was Capital looking to make up for a loss earlier in the season to the Purple Raiders but they also sought to climb into the top four of the Ohio Athletic Conference season standings. They did both.
Capital made the most of an off-shooting night by Mount Union to run away with a 69-47 victory at The Capital Center on Saturday afternoon, not only avenging an early loss to the Purple Raiders but also sending senior Erin Risner (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) off with a win at what was thought to be the final home game of her career. In a surprise twist, the Crusaders also learned that Baldwin Wallace University defeated Otterbein University in Berea and with that win, Capital propelled into the number four spot in the OAC standings, which grants them a first-round home game in next week's conference tournament.
Risner was one of four Crusaders to score in double figures despite getting into foul trouble early. She ended the day with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and then added three steals and six rebounds. Joining her in double figures was Carlile Hulette (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills), who scored 15 points - eight of which came in the second quarter. Emma Burns (Westerville, Ohio/St. Francis Desales) led all scorers with 16 points and had a solid shooting night from all parts of the floor. The freshman went 5-for-7 overall but 2-for-3 from 3-point range. Elle Folan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline) rounded out that list after scoring 10 points and sharing the team lead with three helpers.
Capital did not lose a quarter, gaining five-point spreads following each of the first two stanzas and carrying a 12-point lead into the fourth. The Crusaders then lit it up by shooting 70 percent and a perfect 3-for-3 from distance to close out the game. They outscored Mount Union 20-10 in the last quarter to roll out a 22-point win.
Mount Union not only struggled shooting having hit just 34.6 percent of its total shot attempts but also turned the ball over 18 times over the course of the game. The Purple Raiders, typically a strong 3-point shooting team, hit just 3-of-20 (.150) attempts from behind the arc, while Capital hit 6-of-13 (.462) of its 3-point attempts.
Jaime Sanborn led the Purple Raiders with 14 points, but not other Mount Union player eclipsed eight points.
Capital (16-9, 11-7 OAC) will now prep to kick off an OAC Tournament doubleheader on Tuesday, February 19. The Crusaders will serve as the number four seed and host fifth-seeded Otterbein in another rivalry showdown. That game will begin at 6 p.m.
Capital will suit up against Otterbein in the opening round of the OAC Tournament for the second time three years. In their previous OAC Tournament meeting in 2017, Capital edged out the Cardinals, 65-64. Capital and Otterbein split their regular season series with each team winning at home.