No. 13/15 CNU Women's Basketball Balanced Again in 93-40 Rout of Meredith College

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Led by another stalwart defensive performance, the 13th-ranked Christopher Newport women's basketball team improved to 4-0 on the season after cruising past Meredith College (0-3), 93-40. The Captains forced 33 turnovers while the offense continued to keep things balanced with 14 players in the scoring column, as CNU finished their second straight wire-to-wire victory. 

It is the seventh time in the last nine seasons the Captains have started the year perfect through the first four games, and CNU will enter the first portion of conference play with a pristine 4-0 mark. As a team, the Captains shot 46.6% (34-73) and outrebounded the Avenging Angels by a final tally of 45-27. 

The home team kept things close for the first quarter and a half, but heading into halftime, Christopher Newport blitzed out to a 20-point lead. With a five-point, 23-18 lead at the 4:22 mark of the second quarter, the Captains turned to the three-point line and rapidly turned a close game into a blowout. A 19-4 run, sparked by a pair of three-pointers from Anitra Thomas and one by Makeda Wright, ended the first half giving CNU a 42-22 advantage. 

Prior to the spurt, CNU took a 10-point lead early, 16-6, and then again at 19-9, in the 1st quarter. A free-throw by Carly Endean made it a nine-point game heading into the second quarter, where the home team scored the first four points to cut the lead to five, 19-14. Meghan Pleasants hit the shot to get within five, and CNU struggled from the field to start the quarter, held without a field goal for nearly five minutes of action. Meredith was unable to take advantage though, as Raven Lott hit a jumper and Bailey Dufrene sank a pair of free-throws to keep the Angels at bay. When Brittany Preston knocked down an assist with 4:22 remaining, it was the last time Meredith was as close as five, with the score at 23-18. 

The run continued for CNU into the second half, as the Captains built a 35-point lead by the end of the third quarter. CNU scored 16 of their 26 points in the third quarter off of turnovers, forcing eight in the ten-minute spurt. The defense only strengthened in the fourth quarter, as CNU allowed Meredith just eight attempts in the final period of play. The Angels converted only three times, and scored just seven points in the final 10 minutes. 

Meanwhlie, on the offensive end, CNU put together it's finest performance, shooting 50% (11-22), highlighted by six points apiece from the freshman trio of Annemarie Beran, Micah Maloney, and Stephanie Seaman. 

For the game, CNU was led by Anitra Thomas' 15 points, while Beran added her first career double-figure scoring effort with 10 points. On the glass, Beran and Maloney each hauled in a team-high seven rebounds. Sophomore point guard Zhara Tannor scored nine points, dished out four assists and picked up a pair of steals to round out the top performances for CNU. 

Tannor was the only Captain who logged more than 19 minutes of action for CNU, as head coach Bill Broderick has been able to rotate his entire roster in over the last several games. For the season, only one player is averaging more than 18.8 minutes per game. 

The Captains defense came into the game ranked third nationally in three-point shooting defense, and held Meredith to just 1-of-15 from long range, a shooting percentage of just 6.7%. 

The first portion of Capital Athletic Conference action is next on the docket, as Christopher Newport will host three straight league games over the next week and a half. CNU opens against Southern Virginia University at home on Wednesday, November 30, with tip set for 5:30 pm.