MC women can’t catch up to Captains
By Leonard Butts | (email@example.com)
The Maryville College women’s basketball team struggled to get a shot to go down in the first half of a key USA South Conference contest against Christopher Newport University on Sunday at Boydson Baird Gymnasium.
And although the Scots battled back to turn a 15-point deficit into a one-possession game with 30 seconds left, the Captains did enough at the free-throw line to claim a 65-60 victory.
It was the first conference loss for Maryville College (14-2, 8-1), broke a 13-game winning streak overall, and dropped the Scots into a tie with Ferrum atop the league standings.
Against a Christopher Newport team that had fallen from contention for the top spot after losing two conference contests in a row, the Scots, who defeated Ferrum last week, had a chance to solidify their hold on first place, but the Captains (14-2, 7-2) opened with a maddeningly physical defensive effort and used their size advantage in the paint to force MC into shooting only 18.5 percent from the field in the first half.
That left the Scots in recovery mode, trying to get defensive stops and slice into what was, for most of the game, a double-digit disadvantage.
“They got physical with us and kind of punched us in the mouth,” Maryville College coach Darrin Travillian said. “We didn’t know how to respond to it. We had some open looks, but they were defending well.
“You have to give them credit. They came in having lost a couple in a row and decided they needed to bring it and they brought it.”
Despite the bruising first half, the Scots trailed only 28-16 and had plenty of opportunities to rally after adjusting to the Captains’ emphasis on physical play.
MC senior Kiera Payne, who scored 19 points in the contest, said the adjustment came slowly.
“I think it was just that they were big inside and we weren’t used to that,” Payne said. “As the game went on, we got more used to it but then it was just too late.
“They are a totally different kind of team than what we usually play. I wish we could have pulled it out.”
Led by Janell Menard’s 20 points from the outside and Payne’s drives to the basket, the Scots closed to within eight points, 37-29, midway through the second half before the Captains raced away with a combination of free throws and crucial field goals to boost the difference into double figures again.
“At the half, we talked about you have to keep shooting and respond to the physical play and go from there,” Travillian said.
With 2:22 left on the clock, the Scots got it down to eight points again on two free throws from MacKenzie Puckett, who was the third MC player in double figures with 10 points.
A defensive press helped the Scots reduce the difference to six points and then to four. At the 30-second mark, a free throw by Lailah Farmer made it 63-60, and MC still had a chance to turn the corner, but after a couple free throws by Christopher Newport made it a two-possession game again, time ran out.
“We gave ourselves a chance with the way we played defense in the first half, but in the second half, they made some plays,” Travillian said.
“I was proud of my kids for staying with it and getting it down to a one-possession game. We’ll learn and try to get better.”
The Captains finished with three players in double figures. Tia Perry led the way with 14, Camry Green had 13 and Nicole Mitchell added 12.
No. 16 CNU 65, MARYVILLE 60
CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIV (14-2, 7-2)
Andrea Hobbs 1-3 1-2 3, Tia Perry 5-9 4-6 14, Kelly Halverson 3-7 0-0 8, Nicole Mitchell 4-7 3-5 12, Camry Green 4-5 5-7 13, Kendra Stone 0-1 4-4 4, Jordan Miller 0-6 0-0 0, Brandi Hollard 2-4 4-4 9, Chantai Thomas 1-1 0-2 2, Nicole Pendak 0-1 0-0 0, CAPTAINS 20-44 21-30 65.
MARYVILLE COLLEGE (14-2, 8-1)
Alex Bond 1-4 0-0 3, Janell menard 7-18 2-2 20, kiera Payne 7-13 5-6 19, Lauren Burnett 1-7 0-0 3, Tayler Smith 1-8 0-0 2, Mackenzie Puckett 4-9 2-2 10, Lailah Farmer 1-3 1-1 3, Donja Robbins 0-1 0-0 0, Ashleigh Elliot 0-0 0-0 0, SCOTS 22-63 10-11 60.
HALF — CNU 28-16. 3-POINTERS — CNU 4-15 (Halverson 2-5, Mitchell 1-2, Miller 0-5, Holland 1-3), MC 6-21 (Bond 1-2, Menard 4-10, Burnett 1-5, Puckett 0-3, Farmer 0-1). REBOUNDS — CNU 34 (Green 9), MC 36 (Payne 6). ASSISTS — CNU 7 (Stone 2, Thomas 2), MC 1 (Farmer 5) TOTAL FOULS — CNU 16, MC 20. FOULED OUT — None. TECHNICALS — None. Att. — 573.