BEXLEY, Ohio – These crosstown rivals’ identical records at 5-6 in conference play and 10-8 overall were deceiving on Saturday night as Capital nearly matched their previous 20-point defeat of the Cardinals by a score of 74-58.
It is no secret that the season-ending injuries suffered by starters Delaney Cutteridge and Kathleen DeCarlo contributed to Otterbein’s 2-6 record in January. Added to the team’s injury report was junior center Bryn Mangold, who had to be helped off the court less than 90 seconds into the game and never returned.
Peyton McCord, the sophomore forward who replaced Mangold, led the team with 11 points and collected three rebounds.
In the first quarter, the hosting Crusaders were led by senior forward Cassidy Bosch with 10 points. Bosch had all five of Capital’s points off turnovers in the first 10 minutes of play thanks to her two steals.
Almost half of the Cardinals’ first-quarter points came in the final 1:05 when they went on a 7-0 run to bring them within seven at the first break.
The start of the second quarter was not as kind to Otterbein. It took the Cardinals 4:40 to put up a point in the second quarter while Capital scored 10 points in that span. By halftime, Otterbein’s lacking total of seven second-quarter points put them behind by 17.
After shooting 1-8 from three in the first half, the Cardinals chose to focus on higher-percentage shots in the third quarter to improve on the 16.7 field goal percentage they shot in the second period. By taking only two-point shots in the third quarter and making four of nine, Otterbein had pulled their shooting percentage up to 36.1 percent.
Capital matched their 23 first-quarter points in the third quarter, which pushed their lead to 26 points. Sophomore guard Emma Burns, who entered the game as her team’s biggest threat from beyond the arc, was one of three starters to score 10+ points despite shooting 2-9 from three.
Bosch finished with 20 points, 7 rebounds and one assist. Also taking the scoring load off Burns was starting senior forward Elli Wachtman, who had the Crusaders’ lone double-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.
As the Crusaders cleared their bench in the fourth quarter, Otterbein cut their archrival’s deficit to 16 by jumping on the eight turnovers committed by Capital’s reserves.
Moving forward, the Cardinals will have to lean on reserves like freshman forward Danielle Horsley, who came four rebounds short of a double-double with 10 points, if Mangold misses extended time at her position.
First-year head coach Diana Noles must make any necessary lineup adjustments before Wednesday, February 5, when Otterbein travels to take on Wilmington at 7 p.m.