HARTFORD, Conn. (CNU Athletics) — Continuing the team’s historic run through the 2022-23 season, the top-ranked Christopher Newport women’s basketball team will appear in the NCAA Division III National Semifinals on Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m., taking on Rhode Island College (28-3) at Ray Oosting Gymnasium on the campus of Trinity College (CT). The Captains come into the first-ever matchup between the two programs with a 30-0 record and making the third Final Four appearance in program history.

Head coach Bill Broderick, who was named the Region VI Coach of the Year and a WBCA National Coach of the Year Finalist this week, has guided the Captains back to the national semifinals for the first time since 2017. CNU has reached the Sweet 16 or better in all nine of their postseason tournament appearances since Broderick took the helm ten seasons ago, including seven straight. Christopher Newport advanced to the final four site after a pair of wins against top-25 competition on the road last weekend — CNU defeated No. 24 Wartburg in the Round of 16 and No. 21 Tufts in the national quarterfinals.

The other two teams playing for a chance to advance to the Division III National Championship game in Dallas, Texas on April 1 are No. 2 Transylvania and No. 4 Smith, who will play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

In the team’s 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance, the Captains have matched the second longest win streak in program history with 30 consecutive victories. In nine tournament appearances under Broderick, the Captains are 23-7 for a winning percentage of nearly 77 percent. This year’s squad has been led by All-Americans Anaya Simmons and Sondra Fan in record-breaking fashion — Simmons shattered the program and conference record for field-goal percentage in a season and career while Fan is the all-time leader in three-pointers in the C2C and ranks sixth in CNU history in scoring with 1,470 career points.

The Captains defense has held opponents to under 60 points in nine of the last ten games including all four NCAA Tournament games. CNU has held opponents to under 60 in 24 of 30 games played this season and continued a streak of 54 consecutive wins when doing so. Offensively, the Captains feature the third-ranked scoring offense in the country while knocking down shots at an efficient rate, ranking second in the country in field-goal percentage as a team.

Rhode Island College has won nine in a row while setting a program record with 28 victories as the Anchorwomen will make the program’s first-ever Final Four appearance. One of the hottest teams in the nation, RIC defeated No. 3 Scranton on their home floor int he second round before also beating No. 10 Chicago and No. 13 Babson in the sectional weekend.

Rebounding has been key for the Anchorwomen, who rank sixth in the country in rebounding margin (+12.5) and in the top 20 in limiting opponents’ chances on the offensive end with 31.0 defensive rebounds per game. They will counter the Captains with a tough defense of their own, ranking 20th nationally in scoring defense (51.0 ppg allowed) and 15th in FG% defense.

For fans able to attend the game in person, tickets are available for purchase online and more information can be found on the tournament website linked above. For fans hoping to watch the action online, links to live stats and a live video webcast are also available above and on the women’s basketball schedule at CNUsports.com. There will also be a Watch Party at the Crow’s Next in the David Student Union on Saturday.