— Sitting between Christopher Newport guards Alysa Kerr and Chelsie Schweers in the postgame interview room Saturday night after CNU's 72-48 win against Roanoke, Captains coach Carolyn Hunter went with the first thought that popped into her head.

"We've been waiting for this, I want you to know," Hunter said.

She could've been talking about any number of aspects as a result of the victory. Perhaps the fact it sent CNU (30-0) to the NCAA Division III women's tournament Sweet 16 for the first time since 1992, or maybe that it gave CNU a 2-0 record against teams from the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in the opening rounds of the tournament.

Neither of those achievements provoked Hunter's exclamation. Instead, Hunter's exclamation was all about Kerr, a 5-foot-9 sophomore who scored a career-high 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. She scored 10 points during a decisive 21-0 first-half run in which Roanoke (24-4) miss 23 consecutive shots from the floor in a 10 1/2-minute span.

"Just during that time period, as far as (Roanoke's) psyche or their mental state at that point, we had them kind of thinking and questioning themselves," said Hunter, whose team went from down 14-13 with 13:10 remaining in the first half, to up 34-14 with 3:08 left in the half. "We knew then we needed just to shut the door."

CNU moves on to face the University of Rochester (21-6), a 61-54 overtime winner over Mary Washington, in the Sweet 16. An announcement will be made Monday morning regarding where the game will be played.

Coming into the game, Kerr was averaging just 6.4 points per game. She had only reached double figures in scoring four times this season before the Roanoke game. Her 24 points topped her previous career-high of 22, which she got Dec. 5 in an 81-54 CNU victory against Peace.

"My teammates were finding me and setting me up," said Kerr, who had 17 Friday night in CNU's opening round win against Washington and Lee, which shares ODAC affiliation with Roanoke. "I was just finishing. So, if they weren't finding me, it wouldn't have happened in the first place. It was a team effort. I'm just happy that we got here."

Kerr's big evening came at a perfect time, considering Schweers didn't display her usual dead-eye shooting accuracy. Schweers finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but she made just 5 of 19 field-goal attempts, including 0 of 8 in the second half. She was 1 of 7 from 3-point range.

"It's definitely frustrating to go 0 for 8, but just knowing my teammates stepped up and knowing that they have my back is the biggest thing," said Schweers, who is averaging 24.4 points per game and who is shooting 51 percent from the floor for the season, including 48 percent from 3-point range.

Despite her relative off-night, Schweers still became CNU's single-season scoring record holder. With 732 points, she surpassed Linda Richardson, who had 730 in the 1979-80 season. Schweers, a junior, has 1,973 career points, which is 101 away from passing Karen Barefoot for the school career record.

Jessica Moore scored 14 for CNU, which shot 42 percent from the floor against Roanoke, including 53 percent in the first half. Roanoke, which suffered its worst loss of the season, shot a season-worst 24 percent from the floor.

CNU's lead grew to as many as 25 points in the second half. Roanoke, which was led by guard Caitlyn Long's career-high 28 points, was only able to get within 15 points of CNU at one point early in the first three minutes of the second half.

"We had shots, and we had the opportunities, but we just couldn't finish them today," Roanoke coach Susan Dunagan said.



CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT 72, ROANOKE 48

ROANOKE (24-4): Porter 2-10 0-3 4, Osborne 4-12, 0-0 8, Long 9-22 5-6 28, Jordan 3-15 0-0 6, Bays 0-7 0-0 6, Skaff 0-5 0-3 0, Dellahunt 0-0 0-0 0, Hawkins 0-0 0-0 0, Lucas 1-5 0-0 2, Webb 0-0 0-0 0, Davidson 0-1 0-0 0, Holland 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-78 5-9 48.

CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT (30-0): Hopkins 1-6 0-0 2, Schweers 5-10 7-8 18, Gural 1-5 1-3 3, Moore 6-10 0-0 14, Davis 2-3 1-2 5, Kerr 8-11 8-8 24, Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Waker 1-1 0-0 2, Halverson 0-1 0-0 0, Bowser 1-1 1-2 4, Falin 0-2 0-0 0, Cheek 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-59 18-23 72.

Halftime—Christopher Newport 42-25. 3-Point Goals—Roanoke 5-20 (Long 5-0, Porter 0-1, Osborne 0-3, Jordan 0-1, Bays 0-2, Skaff 0-3, Lucas 0-1), Christopher Newport 4-10 (Moore 2-2, Bowser 1-1, Davis 1-2, Schweers 1-7). Fouled Out—none. Rebounds—Roanoke 39 (Jordan 8), Christopher Newport 47 (Davis 13). Assists—Roanoke 9 (Osborne 3), Christopher Newport 13 (Schweers 4, Kerr 4). Total Fouls—Roanoke 20, Christopher Newport 13. A—676.