By: Jay Garneau
ADA — Junior Taylor Kuhlman scored a game-high 20 points, but hot-shooting Capital topped Ohio Northern 73-69 in an Ohio Athletic Conference men's basketball game at the ONU Sports Center on Wednesday night.
The Polar Bears fall to 8-8 overall (4-5 OAC), while Capital improves to 10-6 and remains tied for first in the league with a 7-2 mark.
Capital missed just 17 shots on the night, shooting 26-for-43 (60.5 percent), compared to 25-for-64 (39.1 percent) for ONU.
Turnovers kept Northern in the game all night, as the Polar Bears forced 20 Capital turnovers and committed just 11 of their own.
Kelly Winter was two assists away from a triple-double for Capital, as he totaled 12 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Crusaders.
Neither team had a lead of more than four points in the first half until a 6-0 Capital run with 1:44 left in the period gave them a 36-30 lead, but ONU scored four straight points to cut the deficit to 36-34 heading into the break.
The game went back-and-forth again early in the second half, until Kuhlman and sophomore Dominique Royal hit jumpers and fellow sophomore Jared Horstman drained three free throws during a 7-0 run to give ONU a 51-45 lead at the 11:50 mark.
Capital responded with a 14-2 run of its own, including five points from Winter, to regain a 59-53 lead with 7:41 to play.
After four straight Northern points, the Crusaders went on another 7-0 run to take a 66-57 lead with 1:50 remaining, holding the Polar Bears scoreless for more than four minutes.
The Crusaders went on to sink their last seven free throws, including five from Michael Sommer, to keep ONU from getting back into the game as it ended with a 73-69 score.
Kuhlman added seven rebounds and five assists to go along with his 20 points, while sophomore Branden Rushton also scored in double figures, notching ten points.
Horstman totaled nine points and five rebounds and freshman Adam Bair chipped in with nine points of his own.
Sommer scored a team-high 18 points for Capital.
The Polar Bears will look to rebound this weekend, as they host Muskingum for another OAC matchup at 3 p.m. Saturday. ONU defeated the Muskies 63-48 on the road earlier this season.