Dominant Defense Leads #7 CNU Past Va. Wesleyan, 68-36
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The 7th ranked Christopher Newport University Captains dropped Virginia Wesleyan College (4-5) in an dominant and impressive defensive performance, holding the Marlins to just 10 second-half points and nine made field goals in the game. CNU improved to 8-1 overall this season with a 68-36 win against the cross-water rivals.
The Captains leaned on junior guard Kimmy Hopkins in the first half, as she led the way with 10 points in the first stanza, on 5-of-7 shooting. Senior center Barbara Davis also added seven points and six rebounds for CNU as they surged to a 12-point halftime lead.
Christopher Newport shot a scalding 60% from the field in the first half on 18-of-30 shooting, while Virginia Wesleyan shot just 18.8% on 6-of-32 shooting. The Marlins hung in, though, with a big advantage at the free-throw line, knocking down 10-of-12 at the charity stripe in the first half.
CNU would pull away quickly in the second half, though, as they continued to shoot well while keeping the Marlins away from the basket. Chelsie Schweers, the nation's leading scorer, was held to just two points in the first half but triggered a big run at the start of the second for CNU. She scored the first four points of the half and finished with 15 in the game to lead the way, despite playing just 21 minutes.
The defense really stood up in the second half, allowing the Marlins to convert just three made baskets. Virginia Wesleyan shot just 13% from the field on 3-of-23 shooting. The home team scored just eight points in the first 19:40 and got into double-figures on a Jocelyn Spencer layup with 20 seconds remaining in the game. For the game, VWC shot just 16.4% on 9-of-55 shooting, while CNU finished just shy of 50% from the field on 29-of-59 attempts.
Schweers' 15 points were a game-high, while Hopkins had 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Davis finished the game with seven points and eight rebounds and Tia Perry came off the bench to pour in eight points and six rebounds.
CNU will return to action at home this Sunday, January 2, as they take on Mary Washington in non-conference action. Tip is set for 2:00 pm at the Freeman Center.