By Chris McManes
WASHINGTON – After an uneven performance in nonleague play, Catholic University heads into Landmark Conference action with a little momentum following a solid outing at DuFour Center on Wednesday night.
Steve Limberiou tied his career high with 33 points, including the 1,000th of his career, and Corey Stanford had 15 points and 11 rebounds to guide the Cardinals to a 76-63 victory over DeSales University.
Limberiou, fresh off a 30-point game Sunday – which included seven straight 3-pointers –finished 7 of 12 from beyond the arc and 11 of 18 overall. The junior swingman is 15 of 23 (65.2 percent) from long distance the past two games.
For Stanford, a freshman from Harrison City, Pa., it was the first double-double of his career.
The Cards held the Bulldogs (7-5) to 29.1 percent shooting but saw their opponent go 30 of 37 (81.1 percent) from the line. Kyle Hash led the way with 16 points and made all nine of his free throws. Mike Coleman contributed 11 points and Paul Pammer 10. Andrew Kohler sank just 1 of 9 field goals but made 9 of 10 freebies to finish with 11 points.
Limberiou dropped in a 3-pointer from the right wing, was fouled and made it a rare 4-pointer to give the Cardinals their largest lead of the first half, 28-11, with five minutes to go. DeSales fought back with a 13-5 run, with all but four of the points coming from the line. The Bulldogs' 15 of 17 line performance in the first 20 minutes allowed them to go into the break trailing by just 36-28.
The Cards 13 of 25 first-half shooting from the floor resulted largely from their fast-moving passing attack, often leading to open shooters.
After Fonville found Stanford for a close-in basket, Limberiou tallied 10 straight points. He became the 41st member of CUA's 1,000-point club when he drained a trey – what else? – from the right wing to put the Cards on top, 48-34.
Prince scored six points on a short turnaround jumper, a follow shot and a jump hook within less than five minutes, and Limberiou added a triple and a driving jumper in the lane to power the Cardinals to 63-48 advantage with 4:23 to play.
DeSales rallied once more and, after trapping Louis Khouri into stepping out of bounds, Michael Guldin made two foul shots to draw the Bulldogs to within 68-60. CUA handled the full-court pressure its next time down the court, and Kevin Phanord found an open Stanford along the baseline for a layup and foul. Stanford completed the three-point play to put the Cards back up by 11 at the 1:43 mark.
After Hash sank his only 3 of the game, Limberiou gathered a missed trey in heavy traffic and drove all the way for a layup. A Fonville layup accounted for the final points.
CUA, 1-0 in Landmark play, travels to Kings Point, N.Y., to face the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Cardinals are the reigning Landmark Conference champions.