Captains Open USA South Play With 82-75 Win Over Shenandoah
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Christopher Newport University opened the 2010-11 USA South regular season with an 82-75 win over Shenandoah (1-10, 0-1) tonight, led by four different players in double figures. Rookie Tra Benefield posted his fourth double-double of the year with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Conley Taylor had a team-high 24 points.
Shenandoah raced out to a big lead early, up to as high as 15 in the first half at 29-14 with 7:38 showing on the clock. Kevin Kline was a big catalyst for the Hornets, scoring 14 points in the run over the first 12:22. He picked up two quick fouls, though on the next Captains possession, and CNU began to take advantage.
The Captains caught fire and closed the half on a 25-6 run over the last 7:18, dominating the paint in the process. CNU scored 30 first half points in the paint, while the Hornets managed just 10. Taylor led the way, scoring 16 points in the first 20 minutes on 6-of-10 shooting.
The game would remain within single digits for the bulk of the second half in what would prove to be a very competitive game. Shenandoah would pull within two as late as 7:15 remaining (67-65), but a 15-4 run for CNU would put the game away over the next 6:12 of game clock.
Senior Mike Green was terrific in the second half, scoring 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. He worked the paint well, and cleaned up a number of second chance opportunities. CNU had 14 second-chance points and again dominated the paint in the second half, scoring 28 points close to the basket.
Shenandoah got a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds from Kline, on 11-of-18 shooting. He added two blocks, a steal and an assist as he filled the stat sheet for the Hornets. Brandon Bryan added 19 and Mitch Dudley had 15 to round out the double-figure scorers for SU.
CNU had four players in double-digits, led by Taylor's 24. The junior guard added 7 rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot, while Green's 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and a block also led CNU. Benefield's 17 points and 10 rebounds came on 8-of-15 shooting and sophomore point guard Paul Meredith also finished with 12 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Both teams shot the ball well, as CNU edged Shenandoah with a 49.3% mark compared to 46.7% from the Hornets. The Captains had 58 points in the paint to Shenandoah's 28, and had 12 points on the fast break.
CNU opens the USA South season with a win and will now look ahead to N.C. Wesleyan next Wednesday, January 12. The doubleheader with the women's team will see the men's game tip at around 7:30 pm.