Seniors lead No. 13 CUA past Greyhounds in regular season finale
WASHINGTON – No. 13 CUA closed out the regular season in style on Saturday evening, downing Moravian 86-70 inside the DuFour Center on Senior Night. Four of five starters reached double figures, led by Chris Kearney with 19 points, and the Cardinals (22-3, 12-2) shot 50.8 percent from the field. The Greyhounds (14-11, 6-8) received 18 points and 12 boards from Garrett Johnson.
CUA will now host its first-ever Landmark Conference Tournament game, when the top-seeded Cardinals take on fourth-seeded Merchant Marine Academy on Wednesday.
CUA's 22 wins this season are its most since winning 23 games during the 2006-07 campaign. It also marks just the third time in 102 seasons of CUA basketball in which the Cardinals have won 22 regular season games. The other seasons were 2001-02 and 2002-03.
The game was delayed due to Moravian having travel issues earlier in the day. Along with the CUA women's game going to overtime, the Cardinals and Greyhounds tipped off over two hours after their original tip time of 6 p.m.
The delay did not seem to faze either team, as they came out firing from the start.
Jarrod Dilts' 3-pointer with 13:58 to play in the 1st brought the Greyhounds to within 14-12, but Bryson Fonville got inside for a layup down the other end to push CUA's lead to four.
A Steve Limberiou jumper at the 10:53 mark gave the Cards a five-point advantage, but Moravian hung around and got to within two on D.J. Strayhorn's trifecta with 7:38 to play before the half.
Nate Koenig's 3-pointer with 4:41 to play in the half put CUA in front by six, but Johnson answered with a three of his own to cut it to a three-point lead.
Leading by three in the final minute, CUA received a basket by Fonville, and then Shawn Holmes stole the inbounds pass and drilled a shot from downtown at the buzzer to send the Cards into intermission with a 45-37 advantage.
Early in the 2nd, Koenig extended to a 10-point lead with a jumper, but the Greyhounds scored four straight to get within six.
Another Koenig basket, this one coming with 14:56 to play pushed the lead up to 13, and Kevin Phanord followed with two free throws to make it a 15-point cushion.
The lead reached 18 on Holmes' basket with 9:21 to play, and CUA never let Moravian get closer than 13 the rest of the way.
Joining Kearney in double-digits were Koenig (18), Holmes (18) and Fonville (16), while Koenig led the way with seven rebounds and Fonville dished out six assists.
CUA committed only seven turnovers in the game, and finished with a dominating 42-16 advantage in points in the paint.
Moravian turned the ball over 21 times, which CUA converted into 23 points. The Greyhounds sank nine 3-pointers on the evening, but shot just 36 percent from beyond the arc.
CUA and Merchant Marine Academy get things started at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening. The Cardinals swept the Mariners during the regular season.
Scranton and Juniata face off in the other semifinal with the two winners meeting on Saturday, February 23 for the conference championship.