Quakers' tournament run halted by Capital
Crusaders win OAC title game, 70-60
February 25, 2012
Antonio Bowman scored career-high 32 points in Wilmington's OAC Tournament loss at Capital.
BEXLEY — Wilmington College’s run through the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament was halted by Capital University, 70-60, in the tournament final at Capital Center Saturday night.
The Quakers’ season ends at 15-13 while Capital takes an 18-9 record on to the NCAA Tournament.
Playing their fourth game in six days, the Quakers travelled uphill all night against the Crusaders.
Capital bolted to a 7-0 lead before Ben Vonderhaar (Cincinnati/Colerain) broke the ice for Wilmington with a 3-point play at 16:18 of the opening half.
Capital responded with a 6-0 run to extend its lead to 13-3, but Wilmington scored six unanswered points to reduce the deficit to 13-9 at 8:42.
Foul trouble and frigid shooting plagued Wilmington for the remainder of the half as Capital closed the period on a 17-5 spurt and took a 36-21 lead at the break.
“It’s been an incredible week. Going into the tournament, we felt we had a chance to win the thing. It was quite a run, but maybe the three games earlier this week caught up to us in the first half,” Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt said.
Led by senior Antonio Bowman (Columbus/Whetstone), the Quakers refused to go away. Wilmington pulled within nine points on five occasions, but could get no closer as the Crusaders hit 21 of 25 second-half free throw attempts to seal the win. For the game, Capital connected on 33 of 39 shots from the stripe.
Bowman finished with game- and career-high 32 points and four steals in a classic performance. He ends his WC career with 1,107 points and 306 assists.
“A-B was the best player on the floor tonight and was the best player on the floor this whole tournament,” Hunt said. “He didn’t want his career to end. He played with emotion. He played with heart. He just carried us all the way through this run.”
Vonderhaar scored seven points. Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington) scored four points and pulled down seven rebounds. R.J. Leppert (Liberty Township/Lakota East) added five points and seven boards.
Bowman and Heard were named to the All-Tournament Team.
“It was an amazing run,” Bowman said. “It was special, and I am proud of how we all came together to make this run. I wanted to win tonight, but this was a great way to end my senior year. We were a stop and a rebound away tonight, but Capital is a good team.”