CNU Runs Win Streak to Eight With 64-61 Win At Virginia Wesleyan
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- In the first of a nine-game road trip, the Captains fought back for a 64-61 win at Virginia Wesleyan (5-5), improving to 8-0 on the season. The Captains run their season-opening win streak to eight games, tying the 1985-86 squad for the second best start in program history. Tia Perry poured in a career-high 24 points, including an impressive 10-for-10 performance from the free-throw line, to lead the way for CNU.
The Captains trailed by four at halftime and would have to play from behind for most of the game, but a late comeback push led by Perry and Nicole Mitchell saw the Captains escape with the win. CNU trailed by as many as ten, at 45-35, on a Nancy Kelly layup with 14:46 remaining, but over the next 6:03 of game time, the visiting team would claw its way back with a 17-6 run, taking a 52-51 lead with 8:43 remaining.
It was three straight three-point possessions for the Captains that would turn the momentum halfway through the second half. First, with the lead cut to six at 47-41, Perry surged into the lane for a layup, made the basket and got the foul call. She hit the free-throw for the traditional three-point play, cutting the lead in half. Then, after a pair of buckets on the other end extended the lead back to seven, Mitchell did the same thing off an assist by Perry to make the score 51-47. Mitchell forced a turnover with a steal on the defensive end and then it was senior Kelly Halverson who unloaded the Captains' lone made three-pointer of the night.
With the lead cut to just one, 51-50, CNU looked inside for sophomore Camry Green, who capped the rally with a field goal at the 8:43 mark for the first Captains lead in nearly 13 minutes of game time. The two teams would teeter in the final stretch of the game, with CNU opening up a five point lead at 58-53, but the Marlins answering with an 8-2 run to retake a one-point edge, 61-60. Brittany Glasco punctuated the drive with a three-point play with 1:02 remaining on the clock.
In the final minute, though, CNU took over. After the made free-throw by Glasco, the Captains found Mitchell for an open look and she put the team back on top, 62-61. Then, on the defensive end, Tia Perry grabbed a key rebound and was fouled with 17 seconds left. The junior knocked down both free-throws to give CNU a three-point edge. On the final possession, the Marlins got a three-point attempt off from Andrea Paphites, but the shot was off the mark and Chantal Thomas collected the game-winning rebound for CNU.
Led by the perfect 10-for-10 night by Perry, the Captains had an exceptional night at the free-throw line. As a team, CNU missed just one shot from the charity stripe, going 21-of-22 for a 95.5% shooting night. From the field, the Captains knocked down 44.7% of their shots (21-47) and shook off a tough night holding onto the ball, with 26 turnovers.
Perry's career-high 24 points came on 7-of-11 from the field, while Mitchell added a season-high 17 points on 5-of-9 from the floor. The two combined to go 17-for-17 from the free-throw line, while Perry added three steals and Mitchell a pair. Green hauled in a game-high nine rebounds to go with two blocks.
Three Virginia Wesleyan players ended up in double figures, including 15 from Sarah Seipp. Glasco and Kelly added 13 and 12, respectively.
CNU will take a break from the schedule for the holidays, with their next game slated at St. Mary's College (Md.) on December 29 at 7:00 pm. The Captains took on the Seahawks earlier this season and won a 77-51 game at home.