Women’s Basketball conquer CAC

The Women’s Basketball team remains undefeated in CAC regular season play

With their win on Feb. 8 against York (Pa.), the Women’s Basketball program captured another Capital Athletic Conference regular season title. 

That win bumped their conference record to seven wins and zero losses, making it mathematically impossible for someone to overtake them during the rest of the regular season. 

Averaging a margin of victory at just over 21 points in CAC play, the Captains are undoubtedly the hottest team in the conference. On top of that, with a 10 game win streak at the time of writing, they are getting hot at just the right time as they prepare to capture their third CAC title in four years.

The Captains are also undefeated on home court, battling to a perfect six and zero record inside the Freeman Center. By clinching the regular season title, they will be the hosts for all their games in the conference tournament.

Last season’s CAC rookie of the year #15 Sondra Fan is continuing to make a difference on the floor by averaging 13.1 points per game, the fourth highest total in the conference while only averaging 21 minutes per game as well. 

When she settles in a rhythm, it gets very difficult to slow her down, as was evident in the last tilt against the University of Mary Washington when she dropped 25 points, firing up the Freeman Center in the process.

Another key player for Christopher Newport is #55 Natalie Terwilliger. While she hasn’t scored the most buckets in recent contests, earlier in the season she was an artist in the paint using her six foot two height advantage to score with ease. She also excels in crashing the boards to take down rebounds. 

Averaging over six rebounds in each CAC game so far, she is more than capable of turning the tide of a close game in favor of her side.

In addition to Terwilliger, #2 Julia Ng also is frequently seen boxing out opponents to deny them chances. Ng has collected 73 defensive rebounds and is a physical player all over the court, carving her way through an opponent’s defense or not shying away from stepping up for a charge.

Looking ahead, the Captains face St. Mary’s College, Salisbury University and Southern Virginia University, with only the final matchup away from home. 

Having defeated St. Mary’s already this season by a margin of 48 points, the game is Christopher Newport’s to lose. The subsequent contests should be much closer, the Captains recording victories by seven and 16 points respectively in the first meetings. 

Despite a three and five conference record for both opponents, each side brings strong players to the floor every time they play.

Salisbury’s #22 Kylie Webb registered 18 points against the Captains including going six for seven from behind the line. 

#21 Kaylee Otlowski, while not scoring as many against Christopher Newport, has been putting in the work to help lift her team to 10 wins throughout the season so far. In only five of the 23 games so far, this season she has clocked less than 30 minutes and six matchups with 35 minutes or more.

While teams typically have a home field advantage, in conference play, the Captains seem to be immune as they have averaged over 76 points away from home so far while limiting opponents to just over 51 points per game. 

The 8-2 home record that Southern Virginia boasts will be put to the test, but they will be in good hands with #40 Katie Garrish and #3 Savanna Christensen in the lineup.

The duo leads the conference in points per game at 15.5 and 14.9 respectively. 

In Garrish’s 22 games this season, she has been held to single digits only twice. She is also a force to be reckoned with as she has averaged over 11 rebounds per game across all contests and has 16 double-doubles and a triple-double against the Captains. Terwilliger and Ng will have to be on top of their game in order to slow down Garrish. 

Christensen only has one game where she does not have double digit point efforts through her 20 played games. 

Having registered four double-doubles, she is frequently seen getting physical up by the basket. The Hawaii native also has shown off her clutch gene when she hit the game winning jumper against Elizabethtown in the beginning of January.

With a guaranteed spot in the conference tournament and a target on their backs, the Captains cannot let off the gas at all for the rest of the season.

~Austin Urch, Staff Writer~

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