WASHINGTON - Despite their 78-71 loss at Moravian College on Saturday afternoon, Catholic University earned the No. 3 seed in the Landmark Conference tournament.
The Cardinals will travel to face Susquehanna University on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CUA won at Houts Gymnasium, 78-71, on Jan. 22. The Crusaders defeated the Cards at DuFour Center, 73-67, three weeks later. Only four teams advance to the league tournament.
Had the Cardinals (14-11, 8-6) won Saturday, they would have been hosting Susquehanna instead of packing up for Selinsgrove, Pa. But they came nowhere near their 41-point destruction of Moravian in mid-January.
Cameron Cullen scored 17 points, Blake English 15 and Jarrod Dilts 14 to lead the Greyhounds in Bethlehem, Pa., on Saturday. Izel Dickerson and Kenny Gula notched 10 points apiece. Moravian used 54.5 percent shooting in the first half to take a 42-33 lead at halftime. It shot 52.7 percent for the game and improved to 12-13 (6-8).
Cullen shot 8 of 12 from the floor and added five rebounds, four assists and two blocks. English made 5 of 6, corralled a team-high six rebounds and blocked four shots.
Bryson Fonville paced CUA with 17 points, and Jared Prince contributed 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting and eight rebounds.Corey Stanford and Kyle Phanord chipped in 14 points apiece. Each also produced a career high: Stanford in assists (5) and Phanord in rebounds (8). Fonville added five boards andPhanord four assists.
The Cardinals were playing their sixth consecutive game since junior Steve Limberiou underwent a medical emergency on Feb. 1. His 16.8 scoring average is No. 1 on the team.
The Cards responded well their first two games without their top outside scorer. First, they rallied from nine points back with 2:43 to go in regulation to beat Juniata College, 82-73, in double overtime. CUA then went on the road and came back with a 67-60 victory at Drew University.
The Cards were 14-7 at that point and tied for first place in the conference at 8-2. They have not won since. Their current four-game losing streak includes three setbacks at home. CUA Coach Steve Howes is not one to make excuses, but Limberiou's absence has clearly affected his team's performance, particularlyits ability to stretch defenses and open up scoring opportunities inside.
"We've struggled since Steve went out of the lineup," Howes said. "He is day-to-day in his recovery."