Final Four: On the way to the top

CNU Men’s Basketball is heading back to the Final Four for the second time in program history on the back of a 13 game winning streak

Final Four bound is the phrase of the week as CNU is sending the Men’s Basketball team to the DIII Final Four of the NCAA tournament for the second time in program history.

The ninth in the nation Captains got there by travelling to Hamilton College and beating both 10th ranked Hamilton and 19th ranked Williams College. The first game for the Captains started off looking like they would struggle to take down Hamilton. 

Being behind by 12 points at halftime the Captains looked to be crashing out of the tournament in the Sweet 16. It all changed for CNU in the second half as they went on to outscore Hamilton 55-35 in the second half alone and winning the game 75-67.

Sophomore #31 Cutch Ellis was the standout performer of the game. Ellis had a double-double on the night with 12 points and 17 rebounds to help the Captains with their comeback win.

Junior #20 Jason Aigner also had a good night on the court with 18 points and nine buckets from 10 free throw attempts. Aigner also managed to play almost every minute from the two games over the weekend.

After the monstrous comeback performance in the second half against Hamilton, the Captains cruised to an easy victory against Williams.

Williams started the game with the first score, but never had the lead again after this as CNU ended up defeating the Ephs from Williams by a score of 79-70.

They did this on the back of a stellar performance from Senior #3 Marcus Carter who had a line of 27 points and five assists throughout the game.

This performance only helped solidify the case for giving Carter a regional honors award, his coach John Krikorian also received the honor for coaches in his region.

Another standout performer from the game against Williams came from that of Junior #52 Savonte Chappell.

Chappell started the game on the sidelines but ended up putting up 17 points on the back of a seven for seven night from the free throw line.

All of this together proves the case for the Captains as they head into the semifinals this week against sixth in the nation Swarthmore College.

Both teams have had stellar performances coming into this game with Swarthmore defeating fifth in the nation Randolph Macon 58-57 before taking down 14th ranked Nichols 69-65.

After the semi-final game the winner will face either fourth in the nation UW-Oshkosh or non-ranked Wheaton (Ill.) in the national finals.

The Captains come into the semi-finals against Swarthmore with a 13 game winning streak. 

Recently the Captains have looked the dominant figure against tough opponents and will look to continue that against Swarthmore. As with every game in the NCAA tournament it is win or go home; this means the Captains have almost played as many games as possible this season.

Seniors #5 Logan Miller, #10 Tyler Femi and Carter will look to finish their season in the Finals with the first program NCAA championship.

For more information, go to the CNU Athletics page at CNUSports.com and you can see the Captains’ top five plays from the first and second games of the NCAA tournament on our Facebook page courtesy of CNUTV.

~Michael Innacelli, CNUTV Managing Editor & Sports Editor~


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