COLUMBUS, Ohio-- Capital handed No. 16 Denison their first defeat of the 2016-17 season on Wednesday night thanks to a ferocious second half comeback. The Crusaders rallied from a 21-point deficit en route to the 84-75 victory.
The two halves were mirror images of themselves as the Big Red knocked down eight 3-pointers in the first half to take a 44-32 lead into the locker room. Denison's largest lead came with 6:28 left in the first when Andrew Castagnetti's triple put DU on top, 31-10.
Capital began to show signs of life in the waning minutes of the half. A trio of 3-pointers and a pair of Tyrel Jackson jumpers cut the Denison lead to 12. Jett Speelman paced the Big Red with 14 points in the first half. Castagnetti added 10 points off the bench.
The Crusaders found their groove four minutes into the second half when Dan Auble's jumper made it a 10 point game at 50-40. That shot sparked a 19-3 run that spanned the next six minutes. Jackson's trey gave Capital a 57-53 lead.
Castagnetti cut into the run momentarily with his third 3-pointer of the game, but another 12-2 run by the Crusaders followed and with 6:14 left the home team found themselves leading 69-58.
Denison did trim the margin to five with 30 seconds remaining after a David Meurer field goal but Capital made four free throws in the final minute while DU went 0-for-2 from the field.
Speelman led Denison with 20 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes. His streak of consecutive free throws made ended at 43 in the second half. He was 2-of-4 from the line in the game and is 43-of-45 this season. Meurer followed with 18 points and five boards. Castagnetti scored 13 and Maxwell Siwik added six.
Capital (7-3) was led by Jackson who finished with 31 points while going 12-of-19 from the field. Twenty of his 31 came in the second half. Auble finished with 16 points with 13 coming in the second. Capital Shot 66 percent over the final 20 minutes and were 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. For the game, the Crusaders hit 54 percent of their shot attempts while DU held a 37-34 advantage on the glass.
Denison will take a break for finals and the holidays before returning to the court on Monday, Jan. 2 when they take on Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, N.Y.