NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Christopher Newport got 27 points off the bench Sunday, all from junior Aaron McFarland, as the ninth-ranked Captains defeated Virginia Wesleyan, 86-75. The New Year's Day victory was the 18th straight for the Captains at the Freeman Center. "This is such a great rivalry, you just always expect great games," Head Coach John Krikorian said. "This one lived up to expectations, and I thought we battled with incredible intensity."
McFarland's 27 points, including six three-point field goals, led a group of four Captains in double digits. Junior Marcus Carter added 19, senior Tim Daly posted 18 points and 11 rebounds, and senior Kevin Regimbal tallied 17, with five triples as the Captains improved to 9-2 on the season.
Virginia Wesleyan, now 8-3, jumped to an early 15-4 lead before the Captains surged ahead, 23-22, with 7:11 to play in the first half. After leading 44-34 at halftime, the Captains were able to maintain a double-digit lead for much of the second stanza. The Marlins would not go quietly, though, and registered a 14-5 run to cut the lead to two, 68-66.
The Captains bounced back and never relinquished the lead. CNU answered with a 12-4 run to regain a ten-point lead, 80-70, and cruised to the 11-point triumph. "We kept expecting them to make a run, but obviously were hoping they wouldn't," Krikorian continued. "When they got it going, we called a timeout and just said 'Here it is...let's go out and get it back'."
CNU ended up shooting exactly 50 percent from the field for the game, 32 of 64, and made 46 percent (12 of 26) from beyond the arc. The Captains also out-rebounded the Marlins, 45-40. VWC was led by senior Khory Moore, who pumped in 31 points. Although the Marlins scored 75 points, CNU's defense still held Virginia Wesleyan to just 39 percent shooting for the game (26 of 67). "That's just how they are," Krikorian said. "They are very tough to defend and they're going to score. I thought we did a good job limiting them as best we could and our guys stepped it up at the offensive end."
The Captains nailed six three-point field goals in each half. CNU did not lose a home game in the calendar year 2016, going 17-0, and the Captains are now 7-0 at home this season. Scranton was the last visiting team to beat the Captains at the Freeman Center, 65-58, in the title game of the Captains Shootout on December 30, 2015. Christopher Newport and Virginia Wesleyan were meeting for the 84th time, and CNU now holds a 48-36 lead in the all-time series which dates back to the 1967-68 season.