BEXLEY, Ohio - The Mount Union women's basketball team defeated the Capital Crusaders 58-55 on Saturday night at the Capital Center.
The Purple Raiders (7-8, 4-4 OAC) were led by junior forward Jaime Sanborn (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) as she recorded 17 points and a career/season-high of 16 rebounds for a double-double. Guards Anna Alkire (Massillon/Jackson) and Casey Morrissette also scored in double figured with 10 points a piece.
Carlie Hulette came off the bench to lead the Crusaders (8-7, 4-4 OAC) with 15 points.
Offensive sets got off to a slow start for both Mount Union and Capital but the Raiders would respond by being persistent on defense. Holding pressure under the basket, the Crusaders were forced to put up difficult shots. Off the 10 defensive first-quarter rebounds Mount Union, was able to move the ball down the floor, looking for Sanborn in transition. Before Capital's shots started to fall, Mount Union would carry a lead of 17-16 into the second quarter.
Sanborn continued to be strong down low for Mount Union, scoring the first six points of the quarter to put them up 23-20 with a hefty 8:30 to play. Capital answered with a battle in the paint and when the Raiders slowly began to struggle from the field, the Crusaders took advantage by gaining their largest lead of seven. A three-pointer are the buzzer would put Capital up 39-32 at the break.
Looking to pick up the pace, Alkire pushed the ball down the floor to continue the trend of fast breaks, particularly looking for Sanborn. Capital pushed their lead to nine and before they could go for double digits, three pointers from Brin Stralka (Tallmadge/Tallmadge) and Tori Rappach (Warren/Howland) would get the offense fired up to rally. Mount Union would outscore Capital for the third quarter, cutting their lead to 50-46.
A swift move to the basket, followed by a three by Rachel Tinkey (Canfield/Canfield) would give the Raiders a one-point lead over the Crusaders and would soon spark an 8-0 run. Capital would not get a score until going to the foul line with less than a minute to play. With the clock winding down, both Mount Union and Capital would get turns at the foul line as the final two by Alkire would secure a win for the Raiders at 58-55.
Mount Union comes back home to host the Muskingum Fighting Muskies on Wednesday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m.