Kearney's offensive explosion leads No. 11 CUA past Scranton 58-48
WASHINGTON – Scranton had no answer for Chris Kearney on Saturday evening, as the senior torched the Royals for a career-high 32 points on 15 of 24 shooting in a 58-48 win for the No. 11 Cardinals inside a raucous DuFour Center. Kearney's classmate Nate Koenig added career highs in rebounds (13) and assists (8) to help CUA snap a 10-game losing skid against the Royals.
The win improves the Cards to 15-2 overall and 5-1 in the Landmark Conference, while Scranton drops to 12-5 and 4-3.
Kearney was a man on a mission tonight, scoring the Cardinals first 14 points and 16 of their first 18. Despite his teammates struggling to score, Kearney did all he could to keep CUA within striking distance during the early going.
The Virginia native's bucket with 11:46 to go in the first half pulled CUA to within 15-12, but Scranton's Tommy Morgan got inside for a basket down the other end to make it 17-12 Royals.
Free throws by Steve Limberiou and Shawn Holmes brought CUA to within one at the 8:38 mark before Ross Danzig got inside for a layup to put Scranton in front by three.
Kearney answered with another basket to again make it a one-point spread, but Scranton responded with 10 straight to open up an 11-point advantage with 4:21 on the clock.
Back-to-back baskets by Koenig and Bryson Fonville in the final 1:22 of the half pulled CUA to within seven at intermission.
The Cardinals continued their run in the second half, scoring the first six points to pull within one with 18:03 to play in the game.
One minute later, Limberiou's layup tied the score at 34, and after two Royal free throws, the sophomore drilled a 3-pointer to give the Cardinals their first lead since the 17:26 mark of the opening half.
With less than 10 minutes to play, Kearney and Limberiou knocked down back-to-back jumpers to put CUA in front by five, before Scranton's Jason Pierce answered with a layup to cut it a three-point game.
Limberiou continued to stay aggressive and got himself to the foul line for four straight shots, all of which he made to put the Cardinals in front by seven.
Two free throws by Fonville with 3:19 on the clock pushed the lead to 10, and Scranton never threatened the rest of the way.
Limberiou joined Kearney in double figures for CUA with 14 points, and the Cardinals pulled down an impressive 46 rebounds as a team, including 15 on the offensive end.
CUA committed only nine turnovers on the evening and handed out 15 assists on 21 made field goals.
Danzig netted 15 points on 6 of 12 shooting for the Royals, but CUA's defense was terrific all night, forcing Scranton into 32.8 percent shooting from the floor and only 20.8 percent from 3-point range (5-24).
CUA is back in action on Wednesday, January 23 when the Cardinals host Goucher at 7 p.m.