Guilford Falls to #17 Christopher Newport in NCAA Tourney Opener

Morgan King (Gary Brittain photo)
Morgan King (Gary Brittain photo)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Tia Perry collected a game-high 15 points, five rebounds and six steals in Christopher Newport University's 66-47 win over Guilford College Friday night in an NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament game.

With their 14th straight victory, the Captains (27-2) advance to a second-round matchup Saturday (3/2) with Marymount (Va.) University. The Saints were 55-42 winners over Eastern Mennonite University in Friday's other first-round contest at Christopher Newport's Freeman Center. Guilford ends its season with a 24-5 overall mark, second in school history only to the 2001-02 unit's 25 wins.

Guilford entered the game averaging 14.6 turnovers per game, NCAA Division III's 21st-best figure, but the Captains (27-2) forced 15 miscues in the first half alone. Christopher Newport also knocked down six-of-13 three-pointers en route to a 40-19 halftime lead. Perry had 12 points and four takeaways in the opening frame. She had seven points during an early 14-0 Captains' run that turned a 4-2 deficit into a 16-4 lead 13 minutes before halftime. Kelly Halverson and Brandi Holland both knocked down three three-pointers in the half.

Faced with their largest halftime deficit since 2011, Guilford scored the first two baskets of the second half to get back to within 17, but Christopher Newport reeled off the next 11 points and put the game out of reach. Halverson dropped in her fourth three-pointer of the game and Camry Green scored four of her eight second-half points during the run.

Halverson finished with 14 points and Holland added 13 off the bench for Christopher Newport. Green contributed eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds. She helped the Captains to a 47-40 rebounding edge that including 20 offensive caroms. Christopher Newport converted Guilford's 19 turnovers into 19 points and committed only eight miscues, which led to six Quakers' points.

Guilford's Morgan King scored all 10 of her team-high points in the first half and also paced the Quakers with 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. Brittany Atwater, one of three Guilford seniors, scored nine points in her final college game. Atwater and classmates Shelly Barker and Jaclyn Nucci helped Guilford to a 75-36 record in their four seasons, which included a pair of Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

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