Cardinals travel across town to face Colonials on Saturday afternoon
WASHINGTON - CUA makes the short trip across town on Saturday afternoon to face Division I foe George Washington in the Charles E. Smith Center. After traveling to Notre Dame and Florida for their openers the last two seasons, the Cardinals will remain local this year to reunite with an old friend, Colonials Head Coach Mike Lonergan. A CUA alum, Lonergan coached the Cardinals from 1992-2004, winning 251 games, and leading CUA to the 2001 National Championship. This marks Lonergan's second year at GW, following a successful run at the University of Vermont.
Cardinal Head Coach Steve Howes played for Mike Lonergan at CUA from 1993-95 and later served a pair of stints as an assistant coach under him. Now in his ninth season at CUA, Howes' .667 win percentage ranks second in school history to Lonergan's .740.
CUA won 19 games a season ago, marking the fourth straight season in which the Cardinals won at least 18 games. CUA, which has qualified for postseason play in each of those four seasons, advanced to its second straight ECAC championship game in 2011-12.
The Cardinals led the Landmark Conference in scoring offense a season ago, averaging 77.1 points per game. CUA scored at least 80 points 11 times in 2011-12, including two games with over 100.
Senior captain Shawn Holmes is coming off a season in which he led CUA in scoring and was named to the All-Landmark Conference Teams. Holmes enters his final season in the red and black with 827 career points and is aiming to become the 39th 1,000-point scorer in school history.
Senior Chris Kearney has led the Cardinals in blocked shots in each of the last three seasons. Kearney swatted away 42 shots last season, ranking second in the Landmark Conference, and enters his senior year with 151 career blocks. If Kearney continues his current pace, he will move into the top-three in school history this season. Shaun Bromley is currently third with 173 blocks.
Led by Nate Koenig's 95.7% performance at the free throw line last season, CUA ranked 14th in the country in FT%, at 75.8. The Cardinals boasted 4 of the top 15 free throw shooters in the Landmark Conference, with returners Koenig, Shawn Holmes (83.5), and Steve Limberiou (82.1) all hitting over 80% of their attempts.
George Washington returns seven players from last year's team and welcomes six newcomers into the mix. Senior Lasan Kromah is the Colonials' top returning scorer (11.1 ppg), followed by classmate David Pellom (10.4 ppg). Pellom, who set a new school record by shooting 68.5% from the floor last season, will miss Saturday's exhibition while continuing to rehab from left wrist surgery. Five other experienced upperclassmen return to the lineup, in addition to a heralded group of newcomers, including Villanova transfer Isaiah Armwood.
For more information on Saturday's matchup, check out the CUA game notes.
Saturday's exhibition game will tip-off at 2 p.m. from inside the Charles E. Smith Center. George Washington will offer live video, audio and stats of the contest.