Christopher Newport Sinks Shenandoah Men
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – No. 3 Christopher Newport ended Shenandoah University's men's basketball season with an 84-66 USA South Conference Tournament quarterfinal round victory Tuesday evening.
Shenandoah (4-21) led 33-31 at the break but saw the Captains (18-8) score 20 of the first 23 points of the second half to take total control of the contest.
CNU freshman Tra Benefield scored 27 of his game-high 31 points following the break – Benefield hit 12 of his 14 field goals (including his only 3-pointer) as the Captains hit 47.6 percent of their shots in the final 20 minutes.
Benefield's 12 second half field goals represented 60 percent of his team's total in the second stanza and he had 13 points during that decisive run.
Freshman Avery Green paced the visitors to that two-point halftime lead by scoring all 11 his points while senior Brandon Bryan had three of the Hornets six first-half 3-pointers.
Christopher Newport turned up the defensive pressure coming out of the lockerroom, holding SU to those three points in the first five minutes of play.
Shenandoah missed six shots and committed three turnovers during this span as the Captains jumped to a 15-point advantage.
Senior Kevin Kline finally stopped the bleeding with a layup at 14:06, but CNU again had an answer.
A 6-0 run in the next 88 seconds pushed the Captains lead to 19 points, and SU never seriously threatened again.
Bryan led the Hornets with 17 points with classmate Chris Christensen adding 12, Green 11 and Mitch Dudley 10.