Saturday, April 20, 2024

CNU Women’s Basketball Selected to Host NCAA First and Second Round; Captains Take on UMSV Friday

(Sydney Smith/CNU Athletics)

NEWPORT NEWS — The fourth-ranked Christopher Newport women’s basketball team, champions of the Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference, have been selected to host the first and second rounds of the 2024 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championships beginning this Friday.

The Captains (26-1) will host the Dolphins of the University of Mount Saint Vincent (22-6), the champions of the Skyline Conference, at 8:15 p.m. on Friday immediately following another first round matchup between Johns Hopkins and Marietta College at 5:45 p.m.

The Captains are hosting NCAA Tournament action for the second straight year and the seventh time in Freeman Center history since the building opened in 2000-01. It marks the tenth time CNU has been selected to host in 24 career NCAA Tournament appearances.

Christopher Newport secured hosting duties after dropping just one game in the 2023-24 season. The Captains are 26-1 overall after winning the team’s fifth straight conference championship and will be making the eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Ticket prices will be $15 for chairback and $10 for general admission. Live stats and a live video webcast will be free of charge for fans unable to attend in person, with links found at CNUsports.com.

Under the direction of head coach Bill Broderick, the Captains have reached the NCAA Tournament in ten of eleven seasons and have reached the Round of 16 in all nine of their previous showings, including seven straight. CNU has won 100 of the team’s last 103 games dating back to December 29, 2019 and is currently riding the longest active home winning streak in Division III with 53 straight wins.

This season, balance has been key for the nationally-ranked Captains as Christopher Newport leads Division III in bench scoring averaging 36 points per game. Three CNU players are averaging double figures as junior Hannah Kaloi, who was named the C2C Tournament MVP and a First Team All-Conference forward, is leading the charge with 12.1 points per game. Senior Alivia Giles (11.4 ppg) and senior Camille Malagar (10.0 ppg) are the others while senior point guard Gabbi San Diego (4.1 apg) and fifth-year guard/forward Katy Rader (6.7 ppg) round out the projected starting five.

The University of Mount Saint Vincent (UMSV) earned the Skyline Conference Championship for the second time and will be making the program’s second ever NCAA Tournament appearance. The Dolphins is 22-6 overall heading into the first round matchup against the Captains and come into the game as one of the top rebounding teams in the nation. UMSV ranks 11th nationally in rebounds per game and 16th in rebounding margin (+10.5).

Johns Hopkins University will be the home team in the neutral site first round game after finishing out the Centennial Conference Tournament as runner-up. The Blue Jays, ranked No. 13 in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25 poll, and had won 23 of 24 games going into the conference title game against Gettysburg. Hopkins will be making the team’s 14th NCAA Tournament appearance and third straight. The Blue Jays are also a strong rebounding team, ranking ninth nationally in rebounds per game and 14th in rebounding margin (+10.8).

Rounding out the opening weekend grouping is Marietta College, who finished as runner-up in the Ohio Athletic Conference and earned an at-large berth into the postseason tournament. The Pioneers are back in the tournament for a third straight year and the fifth time in program history. This season, Marietta has been led by junior guard Paige Tolson, averaging 12.2 points per game off the bench.

Stay tuned to CNUsports.com and @CNUathletics on social media for more updates this week.

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