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Davis, Schweers lead CNU women to USA South tournament finals, but Ferrum men oust CNU

Smart money says that Chelsie Schweers is going to get hers. That gamble becomes an even better bet when Barbara Davis has a night like Friday.

Davis, Christopher Newport’s senior center, had 18 points, 13 rebounds, seven steals and four blocks as the Captains beat Ferrum 71-52 in a semifinal of the USA South women’s basketball tournament, setting up a third meeting with Greensboro College for the conference title and automatic NCAA berth at 2 p.m. Sunday.

"We’ve been emphasizing all week how important her presence is,” Schweers said. “She really prepared this week in practice, (and) she did more than we could have asked.

Freed slightly by Davis’ dominance inside, Schweers had 31 points to move within 28 of Lamont Strothers’ all-time CNU record and made five 3-pointers to move within eight of the all-time Division III record.

"It allows the defense to play off of me and opens me up,” said Schweers, 12-of-25 from the field with five assists and no turnovers. “Everyone else on the team knowing we need them — it makes my life so much easier.

Schweers is one of just five Division III women to top the 2,500 mark, and her career total now stands at 2,681, third-best all-time. Meegan Garrity of Clark (Mass.) scored 2,793 points, while Jeannie Demers of Buena Vista is atop the career list at 3,171.

Schweers could set both the school scoring and the career 3-point records in Sunday’s game at Greensboro, which lost 61-48 at CNU on Feb. 19 after handing the Captains their first USA South loss in 27 games in a 65-61 home victory on Jan. 23.

"I hope she does,” said Davis, who had six points, nine rebounds and five steals in the first half. “We’re all rooting for her. We all love Chelsie.”

The Captains (24-3), the tournament’s second seed, opened the second half with an 11-4 run to go up 44-29 with 14:30 to play. Later, the Panthers (18-9) reeled off a 7-0 run to pull within 13.

Davis answered with a layup off Schweers’ assist, then pulled down an offensive rebound, was fouled and made both free throws to extend the lead 57-40 with eight minutes to play.

The lead reached 20 after a 3-pointer by Schweers and Kimmy Hopkins’ turnaround jumper with 11:40 to play. The Captains shot 52 percent (12-of-23) in the second half.

Lauren Gural had 11 points, with seven of them coming in the first half, for CNU, which forced 20 turnovers.

The Captains, whose 30-0 season ended in the Sweet 16 last year, are likely in the NCAA field no matter what happens Sunday, but a win against the Pride would remove all doubt.

Greensboro beat visiting Methodist 69-40 Friday behind Danielle Duncan’s 22 points.

“Going down there, we know the atmosphere in that gym,” Schweers said. “They’re going to pack the house. We’ve got a game plan, and we can’t allow their crowd to take us out of that game plan.”

NO. 2 CNU 71, NO. 3 FERRUM 52FERRUM (18-9): Akers 2-6 0-0 5, Goins 1-6 0-0 2, Smith 5-17 2-2 12, Burwell 4-7 1-2 9, Keith 7-12 1-2 15, Frazier 0-1 0-0 0, Bullock 3-8 0-0 7, Kipps 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 23-59 4-6 52.
CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT (24-3): Hopkins 2-5 0-0 4, Schweers 12-25 2-2 31, Perry 0-1 1-2 1, Gural 4-12 3-4 11, Halverson 1-4 0-0 2, Bowser 0-3 2-2 2, Moore 1-4 0-0 2, Davis 5-7 8-8 18. Totals 25-61 16-18 71.Half: CNU 33-25. 3-point goals: Ferrum 2-11 (Akers 1-5, Goins 0-3, Bullock 1-3), CNU 5-13 (Schweers 5-11, Halverson 0-2). Fouled out: Smith. Rebounds: Ferrum 34 (Keith 6), CNU 40 (Davis 13). Assists: Ferrum 7 (Goins 2, Bullock 2), CNU 9 (Schweers 5). Total fouls: Ferrum 14, CNU 9. A: 419.

FERRUM MEN BEAT CNU 87-81The Christopher Newport men’s season ended at 18-9 with a loss at Ferrum, and a guy from Newport News was largely responsible.

USA South Player of the Year Derek Mitchell, a Heritage High graduate who originally came west to play football for Ferrum, had 18 points and 14 rebounds as the host Panthers (23-4) survived a big comeback by third-seeded CNU. Marcus Mayo scored 20 points and Daryl Hart had 16 for second-seeded Ferrum, which will travel to North Carolina Wesleyan on Sunday. The top-seeded Bishops ousted Greensboro 86-69.

CNU, which split two regular-season games with Ferrum, lacked the services of injured guard Conley Taylor, the Captains’ leading scorer. CNU’s last lead came at 13-12, and the Panthers gradually built a 77-64 advantage with 4:44 to go.

But then the Captains got hot, especially Jake Capin. His 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run that made it 77-72. With Ferrum ahead 83-79, Mitchell dunked but was called for a technical foul after flexing his muscles toward the Captains. Capin sank two free throws, making it 85-81, but CNU guard Paul Meredith missed a highly contested running shot with 23 seconds remaining. Mitchell went 2-for-4 from the line the rest of the way to seal the win.

FERRUM 87, CNU 81CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT (18-9): Meredith 6-19 1-2 14, Benefield 6-12 4-4 18, Capin 3-9 2-2 11, Johns 0-0 1-2 1, Herrmann 3-7 4-5 11, Preston 4-5 0-0 8, Clarkson 0-1 0-0 0, Feliciano-Ayala 0-1 0-0 0, Green 7-9 4-7 18. Totals 29-63 16-22 81.FERRUM (23-4): English 4-6 0-0 8, Crump 3-10 2-2 9, Edwards 1-2 0-0 3, Goode 0-0 0-0 0, Mayo 6-11 7-8 20, Mitchell 7-14 4-7 18, Hamilton 1-3 0-0 3, Hart 6-11 1-2 16, King 3-4 4-5 10, Brandt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-61 18-24 87.Half: Ferrum 42-36. 3-point goals: CNU 7-20 (Meredith 1-4, Benefield 2-5, Capin 3-7, Herrmann 1-3, Clarkson 0-1), Ferrum 7-13 (Crump 1-2, Edwards 1-1, Mayo 1-2, Hamilton 1-1, Hat 3-7). Fouled out: Meredith. Rebounds: CNU 41 (Benefield 7), Ferrum 30 (Mitchell 14). Assists: CNU 11 (Meredith 5), Ferrum 17 (Crump 6). Total fouls: CNU 18, Ferrum 21. A: 754.

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