Christopher Newport Women's Basketball Edged by Hope in NCAA Sweet 16
Christopher Newport Women's Basketball Edged by Hope in NCAA Sweet 16

The Christopher Newport women's basketball team saw its stellar season come to a close on Friday night with a 68-64 defeat to Hope in the NCAA Sweet 16. With the loss, the Captains conclude the year with a 25-5 record. 

Hope (29-1) will take on Thomas More (29-1) in Saturday's Elite Eight with the winner heading to the Final Four in Rochester, Minn. 

In a rematch of last year's Sweet 16 matchup in which the Captains won 79-74, the host Flying Dutch found a bit of revenge in a back-and-forth, intense battle at DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland, Mich. 

The Captains jumped out to an early 7-0 advantage and mainted the lead until late into the first quarter, with Hope holding a slight 18-17 edge after the opening 10 minutes.  The second quarter was all CNU, as the Captains outscored the Flying Dutch 21-9 in the frame en route to a 38-27 halftime edge. Hope came storming back in the third, however, outscoring CNU 24-12 to take a 51-50 lead into the final quarter. 

The fourth quarter was neck-and-neck with six ties, two lead changes, and astoundingly more than half the period (5:48) featuring a tie score. CNU trailed 64-61 with just over a minute remaing, but Bailey Dufrene sank a crucial three-pointer to pull things even yet again at 64-64 with 1:09 remaining. Hope sank a short jumper with 53 seconds left and a pair of game-sealing free throws with 18 seconds left to close out the win. 

Makenzie Fancher closed out her career for CNU with a game-high-tying 16 points along with five assists and four three-pointers. Micah Maloney tallied 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting, while Dufrene added 11 points. 

The NCAA Sweet 16 appearance marked the fifth in the past six seasons under head coach Bill Broderick