January 3, 2013

Cap pulls away from Big Red

Twelve of Capital University's 21 field goals came from beyond the 3-point arc.  That helped the Crusaders pull away from Denison, 68-45, on Thursday night in Granville.

Capital took a 12-0 lead in the opening three minutes of the contest, forcing the Big Red to play catch-up from the onset.  With five minutes to play in the first half, sophomore Brad Woolard knocked down a baseline jumper, trimming the Capital lead to 22-20.  After a steal by Alex Longi, Jon Akpapunam converted the fast break lay-up, tying the game at 22-22 with 4:53 to play in the first half.

A 3-pointer by Briggs King one minute later gave Denison its first lead of the game at 25-24.  That would be short lived as Capital's Tim Congrove answered with a 3-pointer at the other end.  Capital would close out the first half on a 7-0 run to take a six-point lead into the locker room.

The second half opened with both teams struggling to convert on the offensive end.  In the opening four minutes the two teams combined for seven turnovers and zero points.  Capital would shake off its offensive woes but they would continue well into the half for the Big Red.  DU's first field goal of the period wouldn't come until the 13:40 mark when Robby Weingart stuck a close jumper after a pass from Patrick Keller.  At that point Capital led 41-28 and the game hung in the balance.

The Weingart shot would spark a 12-4 run by the home team that got Denison back within striking distance at 45-39 with 9:23 to play.  That's when Spencer Neikamp and the Crusaders put their foot on the gas pedal.  Neikamp, scored 15 of the team's 31 points in the first half.  He would add just seven in the second half but his presence inside and on the wing was a factor.

Over the final nine minutes Capital (8-4) would outscore Denison 23-6 to close out the contest.  Neikamp led all scorers with 22 points and six rebounds while going 7-of-14 from the field.  Capital was 12-of-26 from beyond the arc and Neikamp led the way with five treys.  Mitch Westerheide followed with 15 points and four assists for Capital.

Denison got 12 points and seven rebounds from Dimonde Hale who went 4-of-8 from the field.  Weingart scored 9 points off the bench while Akpapunam chipped in eight. Woolard led all players with a career-high nine rebounds. Denison and Capital tied with 37 rebounds apiece and the Crusaders held a 14-10 advantage in the turnover column. 

The Big Red returns to action on Monday (Jan. 7) when they travel to The University of Cincinnati-Clermont in Batavia, Ohio for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.