The energy in the air was perfect for basketball. The music was fun and loose, and the players for both teams seemed laid back while they got warmed up; but there was something about the Crusaders. Capital was coming into the game looking to lock up another OAC sweep against the John Carroll Blue Streaks, and you could see they wanted it badly.
John Carroll was not going to let that be an easy task though. The Blue Streaks started the game well and forced Capital out of their game early by playing full-court press out of the gate. This made Capital turn it over numerous times, and JCU relied on that fueling a couple of runs to get them comfortably ahead. John Carroll was able to push their lead up to as many as 11 before Capital was able to get settled down. Reed Bradfield was big for the Crusaders though; behind him and some great free throw shooing, Capital was able to fight their way back into a game. Bradfield finished the half with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and Capital went into halftime down just two with a mission of just not shooting themselves in the foot.
In the second half the teams continued to trade blows. Capital would take a 1-point lead, and John Carroll would answer right back with a bucket of their own. Capital was not making it easy on themselves to get a clear advantage, mental miscues would let JCU steal momentum back seemingly every time Capital took it. It was a tightly contested half that saw a lot of fouls get called and not much offensive rhythm able to be set. Capital had a shot to take a 7-point lead with 4:55 remaining, but mental miscues let John Carroll come back at make it a game until the end. It came down to the final minute where, per usual for the game, the teams traded foul shots. Regulation ultimately ended in an 81-81 tie, sending us to overtime.
Overtime saw a lot of slow offense, but it continued to be an absolute battle. Tyler Schreck fouled out with 40 seconds remaining and that deflated the offense at the end, failing to take the lead under a minute to go. John Carroll was given the last shot but was unable to make anything happen, forcing a second overtime.
In the second overtime, the loss of Tyler Schreck weighed on the Crusaders a bit, as they struggled to really get going on offense. Meanwhile, John Carroll attacked knowing one of Capital’s leaders was off the floor, and it paid dividends. JCU forced their issue and made its way to the line numerous times on the way to getting an extremely hard fought win, taking the contest 100-89.
Capital was unable to get the season sweep of John Carroll, but it was a great effort by the Crusaders, and they just ran out of gas without Schreck. Full stats are available here. The men will be back in action on Wednesday, as they will head to Tiffin to face the Heidelberg Student Princes.