DaQuan Brooks puts on a show and scores career-high 52 points in Western's 94-84 victory over Christopher Newport in NCAAs First Round

BOX SCORE

LANCASTER, PA (Mar. 2) — Senior All-American candidate DaQuan Brooks (Atlanta, GA) scored a career-high 52 points, including 45 in the second half, to lift the Western men's basketball team to a 94-84 victory over Christopher Newport in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Championships at Mayser Center on the campus of Franklin & Marshall College on Friday night.

With the win, the Colonials, 21-6, will face host F&M in the second round game, scheduled to begin at 7 pm on Saturday night. F&M defeated York (PA) College, 72-50 in the other first round game of the Middle Atlantic Regiona. It will be the Colonials and the Diplomats second straight year of advancing to the tournament's round of 32.

Brooks connected on 14-of-24 shots in the second half including 5-of-12 attempts from beyond the arc. He also handed out a game-high five assists.

"All it takes for me is to see the ball go through the hoop one time and I get my confidence back," said Brooks.

In the first half, upon his own admission, Brooks was "thinking too much" and was "held" to just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting, but junior guard Michael Jensen (Gales Ferry, CT) poured in 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting including 2-of-6 from three point range. Jensen finished with 18 points for the winners.

Christopher Newport, now 23-5, were led by a balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures. Luc Atangana (Yaounde, Cameroon) who had 16 points followed by the trio of Nik Biberaj (Fairfax, VA), Conley Taylor (Newport News, VA) and Mike Cherry (Lewiston, NC) who canned 15 points each for the Captains. Tra Benefield (Folkston, GA) added a dozen points.

The Captains, the 25th ranked team in the nation, held their largest lead of the game, 44-36, following a lay in by Benefield with 18:46 left in the game. It ended a 6-0 run to open the second stanza.

On two other occasions, CNU went up by as much as seven points. Taylor converted two free throws with 13:02 to put it up 52-45.

Brooks then scored seven straight points to knot the game at 52-52, the game's seventh deadlock, with 12:03 left.

CNU, the designated visiting team in blue built the lead back up to seven points, 61-54 on a follow-up lay up from Biberaj with 9:15 remaining. During that time, Western's big men, Michael Kennedy (Newtown, CT) and James Barnes (Middletown, CT) were each saddled with their fourth fouls and sent to the bench.

The Captains went back up by seven points, 73-66 after a made hook shot in the lane by Biberaj with just under six minutes to play.

Western then scored 18 of the games next 24 points, including 13 from Brooks, to take its first lead since the 11:10 mark of the first half. It led 81-79 at that point and never trailed the rest of the way, scoring 13 of the final 17 points in the game.

Gary Robinson (Torrington, CT) scored seven of his nine points before the break and led the team with seven rebounds in 16 minutes of play.

The Colonials shot just 36% from the floor in the first stanza, connecting on 14-of-39 attempts but following six ties end with only a two-point deficit, 38-36 at the break. They turned the tides in the second half, converting on 17 of 34 shots and finished the game connecting on 43% of their tries.

Newspaper Box Score
Christopher Newport vs Western Connecticut
3/2/2012 5:30 p.m. at Lancaster, Pa.
At Lancaster, Pa.

WESTERN CONNECTICUT 94, CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT 84

CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT (23-5)
ATANGANA, Luc 6-12 2-3 16; TAYLOR, Conley 6-17 3-5 15; BIBERAJ, Nik 5-8 5-8
15; CHERRY, Mike 5-12 4-4 15; BENEFIELD, Tra 6-10 0-0 12; SNEAD, Jon 1-3 1-2
4; FARRIS, Loren 2-2 0-0 4; CAPIN, Jacob 1-1 0-0 3; JOHNS, Tyren 0-0 0-0 0;
BALLAM, Devin 0-0 0-0 0; MEREDITH, Paul 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 32-65 15-22 84.

WESTERN CONNECTICUT (21-6)
DaQuan Brooks 17-35 13-14 52; Michael Jensen 6-12 4-4 18; Gary Robinson 3-6
2-2 9; Ryan Pelletier 1-7 2-2 5; Mark Redding 2-5 0-1 4; Luis Bridtter 1-5
2-2 4; James Barnes 1-2 0-0 2; Michael Kennedy 0-1 0-0 0; Joseph Setaro 0-0
0-0 0. Totals 31-73 23-25 94.

Christopher Newport...........   38   46  -   84
Western Connecticut...........   36   58  -   94
3-point goals--Christopher Newport 5-13 (ATANGANA, Luc 2-4; CHERRY, Mike
1-4; SNEAD, Jon 1-1; CAPIN, Jacob 1-1; BENEFIELD, Tra 0-1; TAYLOR, Conley
0-2), Western Connecticut 9-29 (DaQuan Brooks 5-17; Michael Jensen 2-6; Ryan
Pelletier 1-3; Gary Robinson 1-3). Fouled out--Christopher Newport-MEREDITH,
Paul, Western Connecticut-None. Rebounds--Christopher Newport 37 (BIBERAJ,
Nik 11), Western Connecticut 44 (Gary Robinson 7). Assists--Christopher
Newport 14 (ATANGANA, Luc 5), Western Connecticut 7 (DaQuan Brooks 5). Total
fouls--Christopher Newport 24, Western Connecticut 16. Technical
fouls--Christopher Newport-None, Western Connecticut-None. A-1180
CNU is ranked 25th
NCAA First Round Game