On Saturday, the Capital men hosted OAC foe Mount Union for its Senior Day, hoping to pull off a monumental upset and create some momentum heading into the conference tournament and for next season. Mount Union had bigger things on their mind though.
The Purple Raiders came into the Capital Center ranked ninth in the country and sitting at 21-3 and first place in the Ohio Athletic Conference, and it was evident they were not just satisfied with that.
At the beginning of the game Mount Union jumped out to a 27-point lead looking like they were making their statement for a possible 1-seed in the NCAA tournament behind the play of Nathan Bower-Malone, who had 18 points at halftime. A big reason for the deficit that Capital fell in is, their leaders Tyler Schreck and Ganiyu Yahaya combined for 2 points through the first ten minutes of action. After getting down in that huge hole, Capital was able to muster up some energy and outscored Mount Union 21-15 over the last eight minutes of the first half, to go in the locker room down 45-28.
In the second half, the action slowed down quite a bit, and it looked like the Purple Raiders took their foot off of the gas, content with the lead they held at halftime. Tyler Schreck and Ganiyu Yahaya were able to find a slither of rhythm on offense, and after Nathan Bower-Malone fouled out for the Raiders, Capital was able to get back within 12. But the Raiders proved to be just too much for Capital. When they needed stops on defense the most, their stopper Cameron Caldwell was unavailable. The junior guard injured his hamstring with about four minutes remaining in the game, and Capital seemed unable to get the key stops from that point on. Capital wound up losing the senior day matchup, 82-67.
The loss puts Capital’s final record for the 2019-2020 season at 13-12, which is good enough to be the 5th seed in the upcoming OAC tournament. The Crusaders know they will be on the road to start the conference tournament but await confirmation of their opponent. Find full stats for the matchup against Mount Union here.