Christopher Newport captured its second Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday (Feb. 23) with a decisive 83-67 victory over Southern Virginia inside the Freeman Center on the campus of Christopher Newport University. The top-seeded Captains also hoisted the conference title in 2017 and made their third consecutive conference title game appearance.
CNU jumped out to an early 28-14 advantage after one quarter of play. The Captains forced the Knights into nine turnovers and led by as many as 17 points in the first ten minutes. SVU cut the deficit to single digits in the late stages of the second quarter before CNU bumped it back up to 51-38 at the half.
The top-seeded Captains came out of the locker room and opened the second half by hitting four triples and scoring 12 points off turnovers in the third quarter to extend the lead to 70-46 and put the contest out of reach. CNU was propelled by Kiana Kirkland's 23 points, while Zhara Tannor poured in 16 points with CAC Rookie of the Year Sondra Fan posting 15 points. The Captains shot 40.3 percent from beyond the arc in the title game connecting on 12-of-31 attempts.
Southern Virginia, the #2 seed in the league tournament following a 10-4 league record, made its first-ever CAC championship game appearance after a pair of victories over Penn State Harrisburg and Salisbury put them in the title contest. The Knights were led by CAC Player of the Year sophomore Katie Garrish who posted 22 points, 22 rebounds and eight blocks in the contest.
The Captains are now 23-5 overall on the season and earn the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
The Division III Women's Basketball Championship Bracket will be announced on Monday, February 25 at 2:30 pm in a live selection show on NCAA.com.
2019 CAC Women's Basketball Tournament Schedule
First Round - Tuesday, Feb. 19
Game 1: #1 Christopher Newport 86 def. #8 St. Mary's (Md.) 60
Game 2: #4 Mary Washington 65 def. #5 Frostburg State 54 (OT)
Game 3: #2 Southern Virginia 69 def. #7 Penn State Harrisburg 62
Game 4: #3 Salisbury 67 def. #6 York (Pa.) 48