Wooster eases past Capital
Fighting Scots use late first-half run to put away Crusaders
WOOSTER, Ohio -- Wooster ended the first half on an 11-2 stretch and started the second with a 9-1 run and the margin never got any closer than 16 until the benches had been emptied, as the Fighting Scots eventually secured a 92-79 win against Capital in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Wooster (26-4) is now part of the NCAA sectional round (Round of 16) for the eighth time in 14 seasons and will play Illinois Wesleyan (21-7) at a location to be announced on Sunday.
Tied 26-26 just about 15 minutes into the game, the Fighting Scots crept out to a four-point lead. Shortly thereafter, with it still a four-point margin at 32-28 with 3:41 in the half, Wooster scored six unanswered. The run was halted briefly by Capital (19-10), only to see the Scots toss in five more points before the break, highlighted by an old-fashioned three-point play by Justin Warnes that helped make it an 11-point game at halftime (43-32).
The Crusaders came back from a double-digit halftime deficit during their first-round victory, but Wooster would quickly deny any thoughts of a repeat performance. The Scots opened up with nine of the first 10 points of the second, and not long after, extended the margin into the 20s. It got up to as much as 26 on three occasions, and a Justin Hallowell 3-pointer made it 90-66 right before the benches emptied at the 3:11 mark.
The Scots had a very efficient night offensively, making 52.6 percent of their field goals (30-for-57) and 76.2 percent at the free throw line (23-for-30). The latter was a big difference, as Capital struggled, hitting just 56.3 percent of their freebies (18-for-32), while the visitors finished at 42.4 percent overall from the floor (25-for-59). Wooster outrebounded the Crusaders 38-32.
Five Scots reached double figures, paced by Hallowell's fifth 20-point effort in his last seven games. The senior forward tallied 20 exactly, including 5-of-8 3-pointers, to go with a game-high nine rebounds. Also of note, Hallowell eclipsed the 300 mark for career 3-pointers (303).
Xavier Brown scored 18 points, 16 coming in the first half, while Warnes added a career-high 14 points as well as eight boards and four assists. Josh Claytor chipped in 12 points, including 8-of-10 free throws and Jalen Goodwin notched the second double-digit game of his young career with 11.
Wooster's Matt Fegan broke a Division III career record with his 125th game played. The previous record was held by Virginia Wesleyan's Tonton Balenga (124; 2005-08).
For Capital, Michael Sommers scored a team-high 15 points and Damon Dillard provided a significant lift, tallying 14 to bump his season average to 2.8 per game.