Friday, March 18, 2011

CNU falls to Amherst in D-III Final Four

Second-ranked Amherst shackled national scoring leader Chelsie Schweers and silenced No. 11 Christopher Newport 69-59 in the Division III national semifinals Friday at Illinois Wesleyan.

The Lord Jeffs (31-1) will play for the national title on Saturday at 8 p.m. against the defending champion Washington University (25-5), which defeated host Illinois Wesleyan 87-77 in Friday's other semifinal. The Captains (28-4) will face Illinois Wesleyan for third place Saturday at 5 p.m.

Schweers came in averaging 33 points in four tournament games, but was held to just 19 Friday night on 7-of-23 shooting. Amherst guard Kim Fiorentino didn't score a point, but she may have been her team's MVP for the relentless way she dogged Schweers throughout the game. And whenever Schweers did briefly escape her pursuer, another Lord Jeff would slide into the Captain star's path.

The Captains also suffered because of foul trouble to forward Barbara Davis, the team's best rebounder and its only 6-footer. Davis finished with just 4 points and 3 rebounds in 27 foul-plagued minutes. CNU dearly missed her typical impact on the boards, as Amherst grabbed 16 offensive boards and scored 20 second-chance points.

Jessica Moore had 14 points and Lauren Gural 13 points and 11 rebounds for CNU, which fell for the first time in 10 games. The Captains last defeat was a 58-50 loss at Averette on Feb. 12.

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