December 29, 2012

Limberiou's hot hand helps No. 15 CUA cruise past Denison into title game

WASHINGTON – Steve Limberiou sank seven 3-pointers en route to a career-high 27 points to help lead No. 15 CUA (9-1) to a 77-35 win over Denison (4-5) on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the CUA-Holiday Inn College Park Classic.  Limberiou, who also pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds, was one of three Cardinals in double figures, along with Chris Kearney (15 points) and Shawn Holmes (14 points).

CUA took command of this one right from the start, jumping out to a 14-4 lead in the first six minutes.

An old-fashioned 3-point play by freshman Riley Kirsch put the Cards in front by 12 with 6:10 to play before halftime, and that ignited a 17-0 run, which propelled CUA to a commanding 39-13 advantage with 1:27 on the clock.

A trifecta by Holmes just before the break sent CUA into the locker room with a 42-16 lead.

Denison scored the first six points of the second half to cut the lead to 20, but Holmes answered with another 3-pointer to put the Cards on top 45-22.

With CUA leading 52-27, Limberiou exploded for five 3-pointers in a span of 3:49 to help the Cards open up a 69-29 advantage with less than nine minutes to play.

Down the stretch CUA emptied its bench, allowing its non-starters to receive extended playing time.  Oray Nicolai took advantage by burying a 3-pointer, while Austin Calling (2 poins, 2 rebounds) and Kieran Powell (1 point, 3 minutes) also played well.

With his 14 points today, Holmes needs just eight to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for his career.  The senior also handed out five assists and had a steal.

CUA shot 51% from the floor for the game and an impressive 59% from downtown, led by Limberiou's 7 of 10 showing.  The Cardinals dominated on the backboards, outrebounding Denison 38-29, and they handed out 23 assists on 29 made field goals.

Earlier in the day, Husson defeated Delaware Valley in the other first round matchup.  Marc Zaharchuk came off the bench to post a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Eric Modica and Aaron Willis added 10 points apiece for the winners.

Delaware Valley was led in scoring by Jay Donovan, who sank seven 3-pointers en route to 28 points.

The Cardinals look to capture the tournament title on Sunday afternoon when they face Husson at 4 p.m. inside the DuFour Center. Denison and Delaware Valley will square off in the consolation game at 2.

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