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CNU season ends in Final Four

Swarthmore knocked out the Captains 70-63 in the NCAA Division III semifinals.
Credit: CNU Athletics

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Christopher Newport was held to 32 percent shooting Friday night, as the ninth-ranked Captains fell to sixth-ranked Swarthmore, 70-63. The defeat in the national semifinals at Allan County War Memorial Coliseum ended CNU's 13-game winning streak, as the Captains concluded the season with a record of 29-4.

Marcus Carter led the CNU attack with 25 points, and finished his career with 1,834 points, fourth on the school's all-time scoring list. Sophomore Adrian Beasley also reached double figures with 12 points.

"It's tough to see this season come to an end," Head Coach John Krikorian said. "Our seniors (Carter, Tyler Femi and Logan Miller) really picked up this team and set the tone. We'll all remember this season with great pride and I can't say enough about the effort and attitude of this whole squad. I told the seniors they're no longer my players, but they're now my brothers, that how much I think of them."

CNU's only lead of the game came in the early moments when a Carter three-pointer gave the Captains a 3-2 edge. It would prove to be the only three to go down in the opening half as the Captains were one-of-11 from long range at the intermission. Christopher Newport fell behind by as many as 11 in the first half, 18-7, and the Garnet held a 36-29 edge at the break.

In the second half, the Captains were able to pull even thanks to a 7-0 run to start the half, 36-36. Swarthmore then went on a 7-0 run of their own and CNU could not get closer than two the rest of the way. 

The Captains lost junior Cutch Ellis with 8:32 to play in the second half when he fouled out with seven points. Sophomore Jason Aigner also finished with seven after being held to just one second half three-pointer to go with two first half buckets. CNU finished the night just 21 of 65 (32.3 percent) from the field and six of 25 (24 percent) from distance.

Carter kept the Captains close by scoring 14 in the first half and adding 11 more in the second half. He also contributed seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. The fifth-year senior, a second team All-American this year and only the fourth two-time All-American in men's basketball history, ended up just 14 points shy of James Boykins for third place on the school's all-time scoring list.

Senior point guard Tyler Femi recorded seven rebounds in the loss and also posted five assists and a steal.

The appearance was just the second ever for CNU in the Final Four. The other came in the 2015-16 season when the Captains were beaten by St. Thomas (MN) in Salem, Va., in the national semifinals. CNU's 29 victories this season is second only to the 2015-16 squad that concluded the year with a 30-2 mark.