The Christopher Newport women's basketball team saw its stellar season come to a close on Friday night with a 68-64 defeat to Hope in the NCAA Sweet 16. With the loss, the Captains conclude the year with a 25-5 record.
Hope (29-1) will take on Thomas More (29-1) in Saturday's Elite Eight with the winner heading to the Final Four in Rochester, Minn.
In a rematch of last year's Sweet 16 matchup in which the Captains won 79-74, the host Flying Dutch found a bit of revenge in a back-and-forth, intense battle at DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland, Mich.
The Captains jumped out to an early 7-0 advantage and mainted the lead until late into the first quarter, with Hope holding a slight 18-17 edge after the opening 10 minutes. The second quarter was all CNU, as the Captains outscored the Flying Dutch 21-9 in the frame en route to a 38-27 halftime edge. Hope came storming back in the third, however, outscoring CNU 24-12 to take a 51-50 lead into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was neck-and-neck with six ties, two lead changes, and astoundingly more than half the period (5:48) featuring a tie score. CNU trailed 64-61 with just over a minute remaing, but Bailey Dufrene sank a crucial three-pointer to pull things even yet again at 64-64 with 1:09 remaining. Hope sank a short jumper with 53 seconds left and a pair of game-sealing free throws with 18 seconds left to close out the win.
Makenzie Fancher closed out her career for CNU with a game-high-tying 16 points along with five assists and four three-pointers. Micah Maloney tallied 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting, while Dufrene added 11 points.
The NCAA Sweet 16 appearance marked the fifth in the past six seasons under head coach Bill Broderick.