GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The 25th-ranked Greensboro Pride (16-0, 10-0) snapped the fifth-ranked Captains' 27-game winning streak against USA South opponents, holding off a torrid Christopher Newport comeback and pulling out a 65-61 win. The Pride shot well from beyond the arc and handed the Captains just their second loss this season, as CNU falls to 15-2 overall, 9-1 in the USA South.
It was GC's "Pride Packs the Place" for basketball and the game was the first ever women's hoops game between ranked teams at GC.
Greensboro jumped out to an eight-point lead early, 12-4, behind
sharp-shooting from beyond the arc. Three different players knocked
down 3-pointers early to give the home team the early edge. CNU
battled back and the two teams saw the lead change three times in
the first half, along with three ties.
At the break, Greensboro led 31-27, powered behind the three-point shooting. The Captains actually outshot the Pride in the first half, knocking down 41.4% from the field to Greensboro's 34.6%, but the Pride had six three-pointers for the first half lead.
In the second half, the fortunes would reverse, as Greensboro shot nearly 50% from the field as they took a big lead. The Pride extended the lead to as many as 12, with 8:19 remaining, and were up by double-digits with just under five minutes remaining. The perimeter shooting was key again, as Greensboro knocked down four more trey's, giving them 10 in the game.
CNU, ranked 5th in the nation, would not go quietly, though. In front of 750 fans in Hanes Gymnasium, CNU outscored the Pride 13-7 in the final five minutes led by senior guard Chelsie Schweers. Schweers, who had struggled from the field for most of the night, knocked down a huge three-pointer with 1:08 remaining to pull the Captains back within five, and on the next possession put down a highly contested shot from the arc, with her foot just on the line for a long two. The two buckets pulled CNU back within one possession for the first time since the first half.
Greensboro struggled from the free-throw line, but grabbed a couple of key rebounds in the final minute to pull away, as CNU managed just a pair of Lauren Gural free throws after the Schweers-powered comeback.
"This was a total team effort and I'm very proud of my team," said Pride coach Randy Tuggle. "We stuck with -- and executed -- our game plan. All 10 players who got in the game contributed positively for us."
Andrienne Terrell scored 14 points and dished 11 assists and Danielle Duncan had 14 points and 13 rebounds for GC. Nikki Wilborn added 10 points for the home team.
It was just the second game all season CNU was held to under 40%
shooting, as they finished with a 37.7% mark from the field on
23-61 shooting. Greensboro finished at 40.7% on 22-54 shooting,
including an impressive 41.7% from three-point land on 10-24
Schweers led all scorers with 20 points, joined by junior Kimmy Hopkins with 10 points. Tiffany Davis and Jessica Moore each had nine for the Captains, while Moore added a team-high seven rebounds.
Greensboro got a double-double from Danielle Duncan, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, while Nikki Wilborn added 10 for the Pride.
The loss is just the Captains second this season and their third over the last two, dropping their overall record to 45-3 in the last two seasons. Greensboro was the last school to defeat CNU in the regular season, winning the regular season finale in 2008-09, before CNU ran off 27 straight wins in league play.
CNU will now head back home for a game against Mary Baldwin this Wednesday, Jan. 26, with tip set for 7:00 p.m.
The Pride next hosts Methodist on Friday night.