BEXLEY – The Wilmington College men's basketball team was officially eliminated for Ohio Athletic Conference tournament contention with the 97-89 loss to Capital Wednesday at the Capital Center.
"We came out with a ton of energy in the first 10 minutes, and we slowly allowed them back into the game," said Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt. "We had a poor defensive effort as (Capital) shot 60 percent from the field. You are not going to win games that way."
Wilmington scored 22 of the game's first 28 points, and held the game's biggest lead – 16 points just seven minutes into the game.
The Crusaders found their shooting stroke, and it seemed as if the WC defense didn't have an answer. Capital connected on nine of its next 12 shots to pull to within three with eight minutes remaining in the first half. Although the Fightin' Quakers never relinquished their lead in the first half, the tide had changed for the homestanding Crusaders.
Capital seized control with a 22-6 run in the opening moments of the second half. However, WC fought back and following an 11-2 run – the Fightin' Quakers were within three with 2:36 remaining.
"They made big shot after big shot," said Hunt. "Tyrell Jackson's three-pointer as the shot clock expired really put us on our heels."
Jackson's shot came on the possession immediately following Wilmington pulling to within one possession.
Junior Christian Jones (Hamilton, OH/Hamilton) finished with a career-high 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including a career-best six three-pointers.
"Christian was in attack mode all night, and we did a good job of finding the hot hand," said Hunt. "But at the end of the day, it wasn't enough."
Junior D.J. Iles (Fayetteville, OH/Fayetteville Perry) added 15 points and three assists, while junior Jordan Jones (Dayton, OH/Thurgood Marshall) had a team-high four assists, five rebounds, three steals and eight points.
Freshman Kameron Moore (Cincinnati, OH/Purcell Marian) pulled down a team-high seven boards to go along with eight points.
Wilmington (9-15 overall, 4-13 OAC) will conclude its season 3 p.m. Saturday, hosting Baldwin Wallace.