Chesapeake College's men's basketball was eager to get back in the win column after suffering their first loss of the season over the weekend to Beaver County. In a back and forth battle against NOVA, the Skipjacks (5-1) ultimately defeated the Nighthawks (2-4) in a physical matchup with a final score of 76-72 in front of an electric crowd during their home opener.
Chesapeake initially struggled to defend the basket against a bigger NOVA squad who was able to get inside with ease which allowed them to contribute 20 of their 35 first half points from inside the paint. The Skipjacks found themselves trailing 33-25 with 7:30 remaining in the first half when they responded with a 14-2 run of their own over the final minutes of the half to regain the lead 39-35 heading into the break. Five different Skipjacks scored during the stretch to reclaim the lead for Chesapeake.
The Skipjacks then lost all momentum to start the second half when the Nighthawks went on a 9-0 run that stretched almost three minutes into the half before freshman forward Craig Turner stopped the bleeding for the Skipjacks with a three pointer. The remainder of the game continued to see even scoring from both squads until Chesapeake was able to build an eight point cushion with 3:30 left to play, leading 73-65. The Nighthawks then climbed back to come within a single point of the Skipjacks at 73-72 with less than two minutes left to play. It appeared the game could be headed for overtime when NOVA brought the ball into Chesapeake territory with less than a minute to go and only trailing by two. Freshman guard Mahzi Thames then rose to the occasion, snatching the ball away from NOVA's Tyland Crawford who had been harassing the Skipjacks all evening to preserve the lead for Chesapeake. The Skipjacks would eventually hold on to secure the 76-72 victory. Thames and Turner led the way for Chesapeake as both players recorded nineteen points each in the win. Up next for the Skipjacks is a home game against conference opponent Montgomery College on Friday, November 22nd. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 pm.