McFarland Leads CNU with 25 Points in 74-71 Victory over Shenandoah

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Senior Aaron McFarland knocked down five three-pointers and scored 25 points Friday night, leading Christopher Newport over Shenandoah, 74-71. The victory in the opening round of the Crowne Plaza Captains Shootout at the Freeman Center propels the Captains to the Championship Saturday against Johns Hopkins.

Christopher Newport led by as many as 14 in the opening half, and held a 41-33 advantage at halftime. The Hornets battled from behind throughout the second stanza, and briefly claimed the lead, 69-67. Late three-pointers from sophomore Luther Gibbs and McFarland put CNU ahead, 73-69, and the Captains were able to hang on in the final seconds as Shenandoah came up short on a last-second three that would have tied the game. The victory improved CNU's record to 8-2 on the season, while Shenandoah fell to 6-4.

"I have to hand it to Shenandoah, they were really tough tonight," Head Coach John Krikorian said, "We knew coming in they had some really good talent, and tonight they had a few guys really step up and challenge us. We were able to do enough down the stretch to hang on."

The three-point triumph was the second straight for the Captains, who won at Virginia Wesleyan on December 18th, 71-68. CNU is now 3-1 this year in games decided by three points or less.

CNU made nine three-pointers in the victory, going nine-for-22 from beyond the arc. The overall shooting numbers showed the Captains at 44 percent for the night (27 of 61) while the Hornets made 40 percent of their shots (25 of 62). CNU struggled at the foul stripe in the second half, making just six of 13 attempts...and sinking 11 of 19 for the game.

McFarland, who made nine of 13 total shots, was five for seven from long range. He also posted six rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots. It marked the fourth time this season in nine games played that McFarland has gone over the 20-point mark. He now has 1,236 career points in 99 games as a Captain, and moved ahead of Brandon Jones into 19th place on CNU's all-time scoring list with his performance.

Sophomore Savonte Chappell also reached double digits for the Captains with 15 points. Shenandoah was led by senior Kwa McDonald's 16 points. Sophomore Christopher Chaney recorded 12 points, all in the second half helping fuel SU's comeback effort. The Hornets out-rebounded the Captains, 41-39, becoming the first opponent this season to out-rebound CNU. Senior Spencer Marin led the Captains on the boards with ten for the night. The Captains were also hampered by 16 turnovers, with 11 coming after the intermission.

CNU and Shenandoah were meeting for the 60th time, and the schools previously were members of the Dixie/USA South Athletic Conference. The Captains have now won the last eight games in the series and hold a 47-13 advantage.

CNU and John Hopkins, conversely, will be meeting for the first time ever in the title game Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. at the Freeman Center. The Blue Jays are 8-1 after winning on Friday. Shenandoah will play New Jersey City University in the third-place game beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the Freeman Center. New Jersey City, ranked 17th in the nation,  lost for the first time this season Friday, dropping a 72-56 decision to Johns Hopkins in the first game of the two-day tournament. The Gothic Knights are now 9-1.

This is the 21st annual Crowne Plaza Captains Shootout. CNU has won 14 of the first 20 holiday tournaments. Tickets for the games will be available at the Freeman Center Ticket Office on Saturday. Both games will be streamed live on and the Championship will also be broadcast on the Christopher Newport/Pepsi Radio Network (Xtra 99.1 FM) with the pre-game show starting at approximately 5:40 p.m.