CUA knocks off No. 16 Transylvania 67-41 in season opener

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Behind a hot shooting performance, CUA opened the 2012-13 season with an impressive 67-41 win over No. 16 Transylvania at the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic on Friday evening.  The Cardinals shot 53% from the field with seniors Shawn Holmes (23 points) and Chris Kearney (18 points) leading the way, while the CUA defense held the Pioneers to 30% shooting on the night.

CUA shot 57% in the opening half to open up a 36-18 lead at intermission.  The Cardinals led by only one with 10:57 to play before halftime, before unleashing a dominant 17-0 run to enter the locker room with an 18-point bulge.

A Bryson Fonville jumper early in the second upped CUA’s lead to 20, and the freshman followed with a 3-pointer two minutes later to make it a 23-point spread.

Holmes got inside for a layup with 15:06 on the clock to push the Cards in front by 25, before Transylvania scored seven straight to cut the Cards lead to 18 at the 11:34 mark.

Two free throws down the other end by Steve Limberiou put CUA back on top by 20, and the lead remained above 17 for the remainder of the game.

A dunk by Kearney with just over a minute to play put CUA in front 64-40, and after freshman Oray Nicolai sank a free throw in the final 10 seconds, the final margin was set at 26.

CUA’s defense was terrific all night, forcing the Pioneers into a 13 of 43 showing from the field and a 6 of 24 performance from beyond the arc (25%).  The Cards also dominated down low, outscoring their opponent 34-12 in the paint.

Fonville finished with eight points for the Cardinals, while Nate Koenig scored seven and Limberiou added six.  Koenig led the way on the backboards with nine rebounds, and Holmes dished out a team-high four assists.

Transylvania received 14 points from Ethan Spurlin and Barrett Meyer, but the Cardinals forced the Pioneers into 20 turnovers, and CUA held a decisive 26-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

CUA takes on its second nationally ranked opponent in as many days on Saturday when the Cardinals face No. 19 St. Mary’s at the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic.  Tip time is set for 6 p.m.

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