The Maryville College women's basketball team battled but could not overcome the hot shooting Captains of Christopher Newport University in the USA South semi-finals in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. CNU senior Kelly Halverson connected on 7-of-11 three pointers to lift the Captains past the Scots by the score of 61-51.
Halverson went 6-for-9 in the first half and helped CNU jump out to a pair of 14-point leads in the first half. A steal and basket by MC's Janell Menard closed out a 10 point run by the Scots, closing the gap to 29-23 at the half.
CNU went on a 6-0 run to begin the second half, expanding their advantage to 35-23. A 9-2 run by Maryville finished by a Menard jumper closed the gap to 37-32 but CNU posted the next six points on the scoreboard.
A 7-0 run by Maryville gave MC their closest score at 43-39. A Lauren Burnett jumper pulled the Scots to within four points with just over seven minutes left in the game.
Maryville baskets by Kiera Payne at the 3:22 mark and Tayler Smith at the 1:24 mark has MC within a pair of possessions to even the score. CNU took advantage of their free throw opportunities and MC could not finish in the final minutes.
CNU (25-2) was paced by Kelly Halverson's 25 points. The senior went 8-for-12 from the field and 7-for-11 from beyond the arc. Nicole Mitchell added 14 points for the Captains who hit 44% of their shots from the field and 54% from long distance. Camry Green added nine points for the Captains.
Maryville (23-4) was led by Tayler Smith in the post. The senior went 8-for-13 from the field for 17 points while hauling down nine rebounds. Kiera Payne was strong on the boards with 10 rebounds while adding eight points. Janell Menard tossed in nine points while Mackenzie Puckett dropped seven points for the Scots who shot 32% from the floor and only 25% from long distance.
CNU will advance to face Ferrum for the USA South Championship game at 2:00 on Sunday. Ferrum defeated North Carolina Wesleyan earlier in the day by the score of 79-70 to move to the title game.
Maryville, CNU, and Ferrum will each anxiously await the NCAA Selection announcement anticipated on Monday afternoon.