Kean Falls to Christopher Newport in Sweet Sixteen

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ANNVILLE, Pa. (3/11/11) – Christopher Newport University senior Chelsie Schweers scored 35 points, as the Captains held off Kean University, 80-76, to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III women's basketball tournament.

The Cougars, who had erased an early 17-point deficit, used an 8-1 run to take their final lead at 76-75, before Christopher Newport scored the final five points of the game to advance to their first Elite Eight in program history.

Senior forward Tiffany Patrick and Angelica Bermudez combined for 37 points and 17 rebounds, as they shot 12-of-19 from the floor in their final game for the Cougars.

Kean closes out the season at 24-5, as they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

Schweers hit her first nine shots from the floor, as she finished 10-of-15 from the floor and a perfect 11-of-11 from the foul line for the Captains (28-3).

After sophomore Naimah Clemons opened the game with a lay-up off of the opening tip, CNU went on a 26-7 run to take a 26-9 lead midway through the first half, as Schweers closed out the run with an 11-0 run of her own.

With Christopher Newport leading 34-16 following a jumper by Schweers with 5:44 remaining in the first half, the Cougars closed out the half with a 25-2 run to take a 41-36 lead at halftime.  Sophomore Brittanie Payne ignited the run with a lay-up, and junior Brittany Powell scored all 10 of her first-half points and rookie Emily Cristaldi had all nine of her points, as the Cougars regained control of the game heading into the break.

Patrick added nine points and three rebounds in the first half for the Cougars, while Schweers hit all seven of her first-half field goals and all five free throws to lead the Captains with 22 points.

The two teams traded baskets to open the second half and the Cougars held a 49-46 lead just 4:14 into the half on a layup by Bermudez.  The Captains regained their first lead of the second half at 50-49 and used a 9-4 run to take a 59-56 lead following a steal by Schweers and a layup by Chantel Thomas with 11:50 left in the game.

Trailing 73-68 with 4:46 left in the game, the Cougars had one final run left in them, as Clemons capped an 8-1 run to give the Cougars their final lead of the game at 76-75 with 2:52 left.  The Captains regained the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Jessica Moore and Schweers extended the lead to 79-76 with a pair of foul shots with 30 seconds left. 

A three-point attempt by the Cougars with 18 seconds left was off the mark and Thomas grabbed the defensive board and made 1-of-2 foul shots after being fouled to extend the lead to four points with 14 seconds left.

The Cougars had two more three-point attempts in the final 10 seconds, but were unable to convert as they close out the season in the Sweet Sixteen.

Schweers, who recently passed Kean's all-time leading scorer Melissa Beyruti as the NCAA's all-time leader in three-point field goals, hit 4-of-5 from long range and added six rebounds and five steals.   She also moved into second place in NCAA Division III history with 2,800 career points.  For the Captains, Jessica Moore and Barbara Davis added 16 points and 12 points, respectively.

For the Cougars, Patrick had a team-high 19 points before fouling out with 3:03 remaining in the game after giving the Cougars a 74-73 lead on a layup.  Bermudez recorded a double-double in her final collegiate game, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards.   Powell finished the game with 13 points off the bench.