Knights Stifled By #18 Christopher Newport

NEWPORT NEWS, VA. – The Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team returned to action on Friday and suffered an 80-47 loss at #18 Christopher Newport in the opening game of the 2018 Crowne Plaza Captains Shootout. Junior Kendall Francis and sophomore Nick Lucas led the scoring attack with 10 points each.

Mount Saint Mary never led in the contest, but stayed within six points in the early going against the Captains. A Connor Bacci lay-in four minutes into the tilt got the Mount to within 10-8, but that would be the closest the Knights would get the rest of the evening.

Following the Bacci bucket, the Captains went on a 20-2 run covering just under 11 minutes to surge in front 30-10 on a Marcus Carter layup with 5:15 left before halftime. A Paul Sienke three-pointer with just under five minutes left halted the run and gave the Mount its first field goal since the Bacci conversion.

Mount Saint Mary would get as close as 14 points in the final minutes of the opening period, but the Captains scored the final five points of the frame, including a triple from Jason Aigner in the final half minute, to give Christopher Newport a 37-18 halftime advantage.

Aigner knocked down seven three-pointers prior to halftime as the team went 8-for-21 from bonus distance prior to halftime. He led all scorers in the half with 25 points as the Captains shot 41.9-percent from the floor over the opening 20 minutes.

Mount Saint Mary was held to 24.1-percent from the floor in the first half, with Sienke hitting the only three-pointer in eight chances for the Knights. Sienke and Bacci led the Mount scoring attack at the intermission with six points each.

The Knights would never be as close as the 19-point halftime deficit in the second half after a Carter bucket in the opening minute of the second stanza put the Captains in front 39-18. The Christopher Newport lead grew to 54-23 on a Luther Gibbs triple at the 14:48 mark of the second half and reached a game-high 36 points twice in the final 4:36 of play.

The Captains hit seven more three-pointers in the second half and shot 44.4-percent after halftime to pull away for their ninth win of the season. The Mount hit just one triple in the second half and was held to 29.6-percent from the floor after halftime.

Francis was held to a season-low 10 points on Friday, going 4-for-18 from the floor and just 1-for-6 from three-point range. Lucas, meanwhile, reached double-figures for the first time in his career, going 2-for-6 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.

Sienke and Ethan Fox each totaled eight points in the game for the Mount, with Fox adding a pair of blocked shots and four rebounds. Jameson Morton hauled down a game-high 10 rebounds with Bacci and Lucas each leading the team with two assists apiece.

The Captains were paced by Aigner’s 25 points with Nick Parks coming off the bench to chip in with 12 points. Gibbs and Tyler Femi led all players with five assists each with Cutch Ellis leading the team with nine rebounds to go along with five points.

Mount Saint Mary rounded out the day shooting a season-low 26.8-percent overall and just 13.3-percent from three-point range. The Captains converted at 43.3-percent overall and knocked in 15 triples and dominated the glass. Christopher Newport held a 54-33 edge in rebounding, including a 16-9 edge on the offensive end leading to a 25-5 advantage in second chance scoring.

Friday’s loss drops Mount Saint Mary to 7-2 overall on the season.

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