By Chris McManes
Freshman Corey Stanford scored 24 points, and Steve Limberiou added 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Catholic University to an 83-73 victory over Thiel College in the Buzz Ridl Classic in New Wilmington, Pa., on Saturday afternoon.
Limberiou, a 6-foot-5 junior wing, scored a career-high 33 points in the Cardinals' 85-73 victory over Westminster College on Friday and was named Most Outstanding Player. He grabbed 10 rebounds Saturday to post back-to-back double-doubles.
Stanford, who had eight points and nine rebounds in his college debut, added eight boards Saturday and was named to the All-Tournament team. Sophomore Riley Kirsch scored a career-best 15 points on 6 of 7 shooting. On Friday, he collected a personal-best 12 rebounds.
Luke Kochka scored 24 points to pace the Tomcats, and Khari Bess 15. Kochka was 7 of 13 from the field and made all nine of his free throws. Thiel (1-1) was 19 of 23 (82.6 percent) on foul shooting.
CUA (2-0), playing at Buzz Ridl Gymnasium, led almost the entire contest and took a 44-33 lead into halftime. The advantage grew to as high as 25 points, 70-45, with 10:52 remaining. The Tomcats answered with a 28-9 run, punctuated by a Kochka steal and layup, to slice the Cardinal lead to 79-73 with 40 seconds to go.
Limberiou, who averaged 24 points and 10.5 in the two contests, also had four assists, two steals and a block Saturday. He committed just one turnover in 38 minutes of action.
The Cardinals play Eastern Connecticut in the A.J. Buchanan Classic at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. on Nov. 22. The championship game against Manhattanville or Medgar Evers is the following day.
MVP: #23 Steve Limberiou (Catholic)
#22 Corey Stanford (Catholic)
#21 Luke Kochka (Thiel)
#1 Anthony Thomas (Westminster)
#40 Alex Graves (Lynchburg)
#32 Austen Arnold (Lynchburg)
NOTES – Steve Howes, in his 10th year as CUA head coach, tied the legendary Fred Rice for second-most wins in school history. Rice posted a 177-139 record from 1911-30; Howes is now 177-79. Mike Lonergan, head coach at nearby George Washington, won 251 games. … Riley Kirsch's previous scoring high was seven last year against Husson. His rebounding high of six came in the Cards' Landmark Conference victory over the Merchant Marine Academy at DuFour Center. He's averaging 19 minutes a game … Cardinal assistant coach Damien Williams was a two-year starter at Thiel before graduating in 2006. … CUA has started 2-0 four straight seasons … Limberiou now has six career double-doubles. He posted three as a freshman.