Postseason begins on Wednesday for No. 11 Cardinals
WASHINGTON - The postseason gets underway Wednesday night when No. 11 and top seed CUA welcomes No. 4 seed Merchant Marine Academy to the DuFour Center for a Landmark Conference Tournament semifinal. The Cardinals wrapped up their regular season with a convincing 86-70 win over Moravian this past weekend, and will now host their first Landmark playoff game in school history.
The Cardinals are a perfect 12-0 inside the DuFour Center this season. CUA is holding opponents to 55.8 points on 35.8% shooting from the field and 29.5% from three at home.
Only three current Cardinals have appeared in the Landmark Conference Tournament. Shawn Holmes has the most experience, with three appearances, including a 17-point performance in CUA's semifinal win over Drew in 2011. Chris Kearney posted a double-double (11 pts, 11 rebs) in that win vs. Drew, while Nate Koenig played five minutes off the bench.
Freshman Bryson Fonville has done a terrific job at the point guard spot all season, averaging 8.3 points on 54.2 percent shooting and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4 (2nd in Landmark Conference). Fonville, who is averaging 29.2 minutes, has scored a season-high 16 points in his last two games, and has not turned the ball over more than twice in five straight contests.
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.
After closing out the regular season with three straight wins, USMMA enters the Landmark Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed. The Mariners are led by Reed Buck, the conference's leading scorer at 18.8 points per game. Nick Sergio (9.7) and Andrew Williams (9.2) are next in line in scoring, while Sergio is the top rebounder at 7.8 per game.
USMMA was last in the conference tournament in 2011, when the Mariners fell to eventual champion Scranton in overtime, in the semifinals.
In two wins vs. Merchant Marine Academy this season, CUA has held the Mariners to 49.5 points on 31.7 percent shooting from the floor. The Cards own a +10 turnover margin in the two games. Shawn Holmes was CUA's top scorer, averaging 18.5 points.
CUA meets USMMA for the 22nd time on Wednesday with the Cardinals leading the series 12-9. CUA won both meetings during the regular season, including a 74-57 victory in Washington on January 5. The Mariners last win came on February 4, 2012 in Washington by a score of 68-66.
For more information on Wednesday's semifinal, check out the CUA game notes.
CUA and USMMA will get things started at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Click here for links to live video and stats.