WASHINGTON – After an entertaining first half that featured plenty of back-and-forth action, No. 14 CUA pulled away from Frostburg State (2-3) to earn a 73-56 on Wednesday evening in the Cardinals' home opener. CUA (4-0) shot 55% in the second half and received 20 points and nine rebounds from senior captain Chris Kearney.
Kearney sank 8 of 12 shots en route to his 20 points, and was joined in double figures by Shawn Holmes (17 points) and Steve Limberiou (14 points). The Cardinals handed out 16 assists on 24 field goals, led by Bryson Fonville with four.
CUA also forced the Bobcats into 17 turnovers, scoring 15 points off the miscues.
The lead changed hands nine times in the opening 20 minutes and the score was tied on two occasions.
Three 3-pointers in a span of 1:08 gave Frostburg State a 25-17 lead with 6:24 to play before halftime, but CUA scored seven of the next nine, capped by back-to-back baskets by Kearney to pull within one with 2:37 on the clock.
CUA closed the half with four straight, including a Nate Koenig jumper, to send the Cards into the locker room with a 34-31 advantage.
CUA opened the second half on a 7-2 spurt to build a 41-33 lead with 17:46 to play, and after freshman Riley Kirsch drained a 3-ball with 15:20 remaining, the lead was 11.
FSU hung around and cut the lead down to just five with 11:03 on the clock, but CUA responded with another strong run, this time ripping off 10 of the next 12 points to open up a 62-49 advantage.
The lead reached 15 on Fonville's basket with 2:12 to play, and CUA was never threatened again.
Christian Jackson did all he could to keep Frostburg State in it, netting a game-high 29 points, but he was the lone Bobcat in double figures.
FSU shot just 38% from the floor, including a 28% clip in the second half, as CUA's defense tightened up.
CUA heads to New Jersey on Saturday for the 2012-13 Landmark Conference where the Cardinals will face Drew. Start time is set for 3 p.m.