BEXLEY, Ohio -- Despite a 34-34 tie at the half, the Capital Crusaders totaled four players in double figures as they outlasted the Big Red, 69-62, on Friday night of the Capital/Marriott Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament in Bexley.
Shooting 48-percent from the field in the first half, including 4-of-9 from three, Denison's Valesha Province, Brittany Atkinson and Alison Schafer buried three of their perimeter shots in the first quarter to stay squared up with the Crusaders after the opening frame, 21-21.
After a pair of free throws from junior Isabella Luaces, the Big Red led 32-27 with 3:19 remaining in the second quarter. Capital finished the quarter on a 7-2 scoring run thanks to four consecutive points from Erin Risner and a three-pointer from Elle Folan with five seconds remaining in the half to tie the game at 34-34 heading into intermission.
Both sides traded buckets to open the second half, with DU taking a 45-41 advantage led by four points from Lauren Longbrake. In the final 6:39 of the third quarter, the Crusaders held the Big Red to 1-of-9 shooting and finished the frame on a 12-3 scoring run that included 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. CU carried a 53-48 lead into the final quarter of play.
The fourth quarter was led off by back-to-back layups from Lucy Bancone and Lauren Hofer to cut Denison's deficit to 53-52 with less than nine minutes to play. The next 5:40 of play belonged to Capital as they secured a 10-3 scoring advantage to lead 63-55 with 3:10 remaining.
With less than one minute to play, Longbrake connected on a layup to trail the Crusaders by only four, 63-59. Capital used the final 56 seconds to bury six of their 10 free throw attempts to end the night and hand the Big Red their fourth loss in the last five games.
Capital's Folan led all scorers with 20 points on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc, while Risner totaled 19 points and six rebounds. Regan Stonerock finished with a double-double on 10 points and 13 boards, and Annika Wachtman chipped in 10 points and three assists.
Denison was led by Longbrake's 15 points and eight rebounds, while Atkinson finished one point behind the team leader with 14. Province added nine points and three assists.
The Big Red will return to Bexley, Ohio on Saturday, Dec. 30 for day two of the Capital/Marriott Holiday Tournament as they take on Frankin College at 3 p.m.