BEXLEY, Ohio - Capital University used a 17-8 run midway through the second half to pull away from the Wilmington College men's basketball team and earn a 76-68 Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) victory at the Capital Center on Friday evening.
Neither side scored for the first two-and-a-half minutes until an Andrew Clark layup followed by a Jackson Todd triple gave the visitors a quick 5-0 advantage. The Crusaders (2-3) would tie it 10-10 a couple of minutes later, but consecutive baskets from Hunter Ruckel, one of them a triple, pushed the Quakers back up five (15-10).
That proved to be Wilmington's largest lead of the first half as Capital stormed back to go up 28-21 with 5:25 to play in the half. The Quakers ended the half strongly, however. Noah Dado scored consecutive baskets and Bilal Sow scored the final six points of the half to give Wilmington a 33-32 lead at the break.
The Crusaders opened the second half by scoring the first nine points, but Jeffery Mansfield and Sow helped dig the Quakers out of that hole as a Sow triple with 13:22 to play gave WC a 44-43 advantage. Neither team would lead by more than four points for the next four minutes. Then came the Capital run that would ultimately decide the contest. Wilmington, trailing 67-56 with 5:15 to play, would get as close as six points (72-66) down the stretch.
Both teams shot between 45-50 percent from the floor, but the Crusaders made three more triples (8-5) and doubled the Quakers in free throws (10-5). Capital also won the rebounding battle by a slim 35-30 margin.
Individually, Mansfield led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Sow added 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting and six rebounds off the bench.
Capital was led by Carter Combs with 15 points while three Crusaders – Griffin Doseck, Cameron Caldwell and Reed Bradford – all scored a dozen points. Doseck missed a double-double by a single rebound.
Wilmington, which dips to 1-4 with the loss, hosts Capital tomorrow (Saturday) at 6 p.m.