March 4, 2012

CUA drops overtime decision to Alvernia in ECAC championship

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – After allowing 50 first half points to Alvernia, CUA regrouped and forced overtime, but the Cardinals ultimately fell to the Crusaders 93-85 in a wildly entertaining ECAC championship game on Sunday.  For the second time in three games, Shawn Holmes established a new career high in scoring, this time hitting for 31 points.

CUA finishes the season with a 19-9 record, marking the fourth straight season in which the Cardinals won at least 18 games.

Alvernia earns its 20th win of the season against eight losses.

CUA shot 54% in the opening half and scored 39 points, but Alvernia had its offense in high gear, netting 50 points in the first 20 minutes.

The Crusaders still led by 15 points with 12:30 to play in regulation, before CUA reeled off seven straight to pull within eight with 10:33 on the clock.

Holmes' 3-pointer at the 6:22 mark cut it to a five-point lead, and after Chris Kearney got inside for a layup at the 4:03 mark, CUA was down by only three.

Following an Alvernia miss, Holmes came down and drilled another trifecta to tie things at 77 with 3:06 remaining.

Pete Schramm then put the Cardinals in front by two with a basket at the 1:33 mark, but Brian Nerney answered down the other end to tie things at 79.

Kearney splashed a jumper with 39 ticks remaining to give CUA a two-point edge, but Cory Boone scored for the Crusaders with only 10 seconds on the clock to knot the score again, this time at 81.  Boone also got fouled on the play, but he missed the ensuing free throw.

CUA had one final chance to try and win it in regulation, but the Cardinals turned the ball over.  Chris Davis then launched a 3-pointer for Alvernia, but it was off the mark, sending the teams into the extra session.

The Crusaders ripped off the first seven points of OT in the first 1:35, and CUA was never able to get any closer than five the rest of the way.

Holmes' 31 points came on 11 of 21 shooting, including a 6 of 11 showing from downtown.  He also handed out five assists and grabbed four rebounds.  Kearney netted 21 points of his own to go along with 10 boards, while Steve Limberiou scored 9 points and Jared Prince added 8.

Bolstered by a 61% shooting performance in the second half, CUA wound up shooting 50% for the game, and the Cardinals sank 12 of 16 free throws (75%).

Alvernia received double-digit points from five players, led by Boone's 23, while Davis tallied 19 and handed out nine assists.  The Crusaders committed only eight turnovers in the game.

Nerney's dunk at the 14:32 mark of the opening half put Alvernia ahead 14-6, but CUA was able to pull within four on Holmes' basket a minute later.

Stefan Thompson put the Crusaders ahead by nine when he sank a 3-pointer at the 8:35 mark, but CUA again cut it to four when Holmes dropped in a three of his own with 7:44 on the clock.

The Crusaders went in front by 11 on Davis' shot from deep with 3:04 remaining, and another Davis three, this one coming at the 2:16 mark gave Alvernia a 13-point cushion.

Billy Donovan's three with 42 seconds to play made it a nine-point CUA deficit, but Davis got inside for a layup just before the buzzer to set the halftime margin at 11.

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