When things seemingly aren’t going a team’s way at all, it’s very easy for that team to become frustrated. When frustration arises mental miscues start to add up.
That was not the case Saturday afternoon in the Capital Crusaders’ women’s basketball game. Entering the game, the Crusaders were 8-6 and looking at the task of knocking off the 12-2 John Carroll Blue Streaks, and things were not going Capital’s way to start the game. John Carroll raced out to a quick 7-0 start that forced Capital to burn a timeout just over one minute into the game.
The Blue Streaks dominated the offensive glass in the first half, and on the opposite end, nothing was falling for Capital as you could count on one hand how many field goals they made. The Crusaders started off both the first and second quarter 0-4 from the field and were not getting the bounces they needed as even some layups bounced off iron.
The Crusaders shot just 27% from the field in the first half and despite that, they were only down 11 points as their defense was stingy enough to come up with plays at the right time, enough to keep them energized and in the game.
The third quarter is when things got extremely interesting. You could almost break this quarter down into two tales. The first five minutes, was frustrating for much of the Capital contingent, as the team kept having it’s passes intercepted, giving John Carroll easy looks at the basket and giving them a nearly 21 point lead. Then the last five minutes the roles essentially reversed, as all of a sudden John Carroll couldn’t hang on to the ball or make a shot. Capital started making a run bringing the game back within striking distance for themselves.
The fourth quarter was one of the most intense quarters of basketball you will see at this level. There were a multitude of calls and missed calls that had fans, coaches and players audibly and visibly upset at various times and you could say it started bringing the team together. The Crusaders played the best fourth stanza they could have asked for, as Emma Burns caught fire and shouldered much of the comeback effort. Shooting 40% percent from three this year, she took matters into her own hands and nearly delivered a game winning three.
John Carroll tried to let Capital win this game, as they missed four free throws in a row and the last two gave Capital the ball with no shot clock and an opportunity to tie or win. Capital was unable to cash the opportunity in though, and they lost the ballgame 51-49 but it was an inspiring effort as the home crowd was on their feet for the final minute. It was a beautiful sight and the energy was incredible.
Although they came up short, hopefully this team is able to use the last fifteen minutes of this game as a stepping stone to build upon. The women are back in action on Wednesday, as they will travel to Tiffin, Ohio to take on Heidelberg.