Christopher Newport University (23-5, 12-0 USA South) won the USA South conference tournament last weekend, earning an automatic bid to the Division III national tournament. On Friday, the Captains traveled from Newport News to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to play Western Connecticut State (21-7, 10-4 Little East) from the Little East Conference in an opening round tournament game.
Western Connecticut won the game 94-84 behind 52 points from senior guard DaQuan Brooks, three-time MVP of the Little East Conference. Even more eye-popping than the 52-point total is the fact that Bowers went for 45 in the second half. Brooks shot 14-24 in the second half, including 5-12 from three-point range, and also canned all 12 foul shots he attempted. See Brooks’ second-half outburst for yourself here (click the “On Demand” tab; the second half starts at 1:20:00).
(Update: As of April 13, 2012, the video is no longer available. Please correct me if I’m wrong.)
After the game, Brooks explained his bonkers second half: “All it takes for me is to see the ball go through the hoop one time and I get my confidence back.”
CNU coach John Krikorian was gracious in his post-game remarks on Brooks’ performance: “In my 15 years of coaching, I’ve never seen a single player beat a team the way he did tonight. We didn’t change anything from the first to the second half, he just took over. We knew how good he was, and he showed tonight what he’s truly capable of.”
Unfortunately for Western Connecticut, Brooks could not duplicate Friday’s effort in tonight’s second-round game against host Franklin & Marshall. The Diplomats defeated Western Connecticut 82-72 and held Brooks to 22 points on 6-22 shooting from the floor. Franklin & Marshall advanced to the Sweet Sixteen and will play the Amherst Lord Jeffs on Friday, March 9.
DaQuan Brooks’ explosion against CNU was hardly unprecedented; he scored 815 points in 993 minutes of game action this year and averaged 29.1 points per game for the season. He entered Friday’s game with five 40-point games already under his belt this year. Brooks concludes his college career with a four-year total of 2,269 points.