COLUMBUS — Capital hit 14 of its final 17 free throws in a 71-64 win over Wilmington Tuesday night in Ohio Athletic Conference tournament action at the Capital Center.
The loss ends the Wilmington season at 15-13. Capital continues in the tournament at 21-6.
Brittaney Jefferson led WC with 25 points on 10 for 16 shooting. Mackenzie Campbell had 19 points and nine rebounds for Wilmington.
Wilmington trailed most of the way but on Jefferson’s jumper at the 8:40 mark of the fourth period, the Quakers trailed by four, 48-44.
A three-pointer by Capital made it a seven-point game then Campbell cut the difference to five. The teams traded baskets again. De’Jah Locke converted a layup at the 5:58 mark of the fourth and the Quakers seemed destined to push the Crusaders to the limit.
But Capital missed just three free throws the rest of the game on 17 attempts and WC was never able to get closer than five.
On Monday, Wilmington won its tournament opener over John Carroll, 67-57. Campbell scored 25 points to lead Wilmington.
It marked the first time in seven meetings Wilmington has knocked off the Blue Streaks.
“Our players are really gaining confidence these last two, three weeks,” said Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve.
Campbell and Jefferson combined for 11 points as Wilmington seized control with a 13-0 run midway through the third quarter. During this pivotal game-changing stretch, the Fightin’ Quakers forced four turnovers and held the Blue Streaks to 0-for-7 shooting from the field.
After a brief run in which John Carroll cut the WC lead to just two, the Wilmington defense stiffened again.
The Fightin’ Quakers kept JCU without a field goal for the last minute of the third quarter and the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.
“Our defense was great,” said Scheve. “Ja’Cole Tabor had as good of a game as she has played in her career on both ends of the court. She drew the assignment of guarding (OAC leading scorer Katlyn) Spahar, and she did a phenomenal job.”
The lead increased to nine points midway through the final period before John Carroll hit its first field goal of the fourth period. Wilmington converted nine straight free throws in the final two minutes to seal the game.
Campbell, who was named the OAC Player of the Week earlier Monday, shot 10-of-15 from the field and 5-of-7 from the foul line with eight rebounds. Jefferson finished with 15 points, four steals, two assists and two blocks.
Junior Mary Moyer pulled down a team-high nine boards and dished out a team-high three assists.