Captains fall to Pointers in the Hampton Marina Classic second round
While most students were home during the thanksgiving break, there were a couple who remained back at Christopher Newport University. Of these students, a sizable number made up the Men’s Basketball team.
These student athletes weren’t here just to study or stay away from awkward political discussions at the dinner table with extended family, they were hosting the CNU Invitational basketball tournament.
Three other teams, each from different states, all traveled to Newport News for the four contests that would take place across Saturday and Sunday.
Wilmington College from Ohio faced played the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the first match before Christopher Newport University took the floor to host the Comets from the University of Texas at Dallas.
On Sunday, the Quakers of Wilmington came up short once again, this time against the Comets. Stevens Point, who completed a 19 point comeback Saturday night, tipped off against the Captains in the final matchup and would close the CNU Invitational undefeated.
The Comets were off to a rough start in the match against Christopher Newport as they were unable to find the mark from behind the arc, going zero for eight and only shooting 30 percent from the field in the first half.
Strong defense helped the home side out to a 16 point lead at halftime. #30 Adrian Beasley for the Captains capitalized on the Comets mistakes and brought down six defensive rebounds in the first half alone.
Senior #10 Luther Gibbs also contributed five defensive rebounds to the cause as well and helped transition the play back down to the other side of the floor.
On offense, Beasley sank both of his three point attempts and #52 Savonte Chappell was also flawless from the floor, three for three on field goals and made his only three pointer, despite only seeing five minutes of action in the half. Over the course of the game, #15 Brandon Edmond also made his presence known as he came off the bench, putting up 22 points against the University of Texas at Dallas.
47 of the Captains 90 points came from the bench, showing a lot of depth from the squad, specifically from Edmond.
The next evening, the two victorious teams from the previous matches met in a tightly contested and physical game as the Pointers looked to remain undefeated with a big win against #11 ranked Christopher Newport. The Captains got off to a very slow start as it took over seven minutes for them to score their first bucket on their tenth attempt.
By that point, the Pointers had already put 12 points on the scoreboard. There seemed to be a lid covering the basket for the Captains as #31 Cutch Ellis, #4 Dalon McHugh and Edmond all were unable to have a single shot fall inside the first 20 minutes of action. Despite the struggles, the Captains only found themselves down by four points at the end of the first half.
Beasley was almost single handedly keeping Christopher Newport in the game as he put down three field goals and sank three from behind the arc.
Aigner had three of the seven remaining points with the initial basket for the home side but that would be his only successful try on 10 attempts.
Christopher Newport was able to get some more substantial offense going as they ended up outscoring Wisconsin – Stevens Point in the second half. McHugh found the basket with three field goals, a three pointer and channeled his inner Wendy’s by going four for four from the free throw line. With seven seconds remaining, the deficit for the Captains had shrunk from 11 down to one point.
A tactical foul by Gibbs was the necessary play if Christopher Newport wanted to hand the Pointers their first loss of the season.
Two made free throws and an errant attempt at a half court buzzer beater later, the Captains would fall for the second time this season and the first time at home since the NCAA tournament two seasons ago, snapping a 22 home game win streak.
Too many errors at crucial times cost the Captains the victory but with a home game against Stevenson University on Dec. 4 and at least 16 other games this season, there is plenty of time for Christopher Newport to get back to their winning ways.
~Austin Urch, Staff Writer~