Despite lowest scoring offensive performance, No. 21 Ferrum gets win
FERRUM, Va. -- In their sixth consecutive conference road game, the 16th-ranked Captains could not complete a late-game rally and dropped their second consecutive game 65-55 at the hands of 21st-ranked Ferrum (13-1, 7-1). Christopher Newport (13-2, 6-2) held the Ferrum offense to its lowest scoring output and worst shooting performance of the season, but the Panthers pulled away early in the second half and held on for the win.
Coming into Saturday's contest, Ferrum was the nation's leading team in field goal percentage (.485) and ranked third in scoring offense, averaging 82.9 points per game. The Captains stingy defense held Ferrum to just 37 percent from the field on 23-of-62 shooting and a season-low 65 points. CNU closed the game in a flurry, cutting a double-digit lead to six in the final minute, but the late rally fell short.
The first half was very competitive, with a five-point lead for Ferrum early in the game proving the largest advantage in the first 20 minutes. A Jacole Hairston jumper with 15:51 showing gave the Panthers an 11-6 lead, but it was quickly erased with a layup by rookie Kendra Stone and 3-pointer from Nicole Mitchell. The lead would teeter in the favor of both teams the rest of the half, with CNU taking its largest lead on another bucket inside from Stone, taking a 28-25 lead. Ferrum would close on a 6-0 run, though, and grabbed the momentum with a 31-28 advantage.
Out of the locker room, the Panthers started to pull away. Despite the Captains defense forcing a 2-for-8 start from the floor from Ferrum, and three turnovers, the shots weren't going down on the other end and Ferrum built the lead to seven just five minutes into the half, 37-30. In the first nine minutes of the second half, Ferrum methodically took an 11-point lead with an 18-10 run, led by a pair of 3-pointers from Kayla Goins.
CNU held on from there, not allowing the lead to build to more than 13, but a late rally would start a little too late. With 4:09 left on the clock and the Panthers leading 57-44, the Captains kicked into gear, scoring six consecutive points in less than a minute to cut the lead to seven. Mitchell and Camry Green went 4-for-4 from the line and Mitchell added a layup to make the score 57-50. The teams traded perfect trips to the line on the next possessions and the clock showed 1:11 when Ferrum broke a Captains press and Jacole Hairston knocked down an open look for a nine-point edge, 61-52.
Tia Perry would hit a jumper and knock down one free-throw, but the lead proved too much as Ferrum was perfect at the line down the stretch to hold on for a double-digit win 65-55. Mitchell led the way for CNU, posting her second double-double in the last three games and third on the year. She finished with a game-high 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Green finished just one board shy of a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Perry rounded out the double-figure scoring, going just 5-of-19 from the floor, finishing with 12 points.
Kylene Culler had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Ferrum, and four different Panthers finished in double figures. Hairston and Goins each added 12, while Katy Kipps had 10 points and nine rebounds.
The CNU defense was strong, but could not overcome a 29.9 percent shooting night as a team, as the Captains combined to go just 20-67 from the floor. Ferrum was 23-62, finishing 37.1% from the field.