By Chris McManes
WASHINGTON – Guilford College might be wishing it didn't let Greensboro, N.C., native Bryson Fonville leave its hometown. Catholic University is sure glad he did.
Fonville scored a game-high 23 points and had five assists and three steals in leading the Cardinals to a 79-47 scorching of Guilford in the championship game of the CUA-Holiday Inn College Park Classic at DuFour Center on Tuesday night.
Fonville bounced back from a season-low four points Monday to total 27 points, 12 assists and nine steals, while committing just three turnovers in 69 minutes of action. For his outstanding play in the two games of the 28th-annual event, he was named tournament MVP.
CUA Coach Steve Howes was pleased to see his team defeat an Old Dominion Athletic Conference power whose previous two losses this season were at No. 15 Emory and at home to No. 7 Virginia Wesleyan.
"I'm very happy to beat a very good team from a very well-respected league," Howes said. "I'm also very happy with our defensive consistency today. Three of our halves this tournament were exceptional defensively."
Jay Howard added 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Cardinals, who improved to 8-3 and won the classic for the fifth time in the past seven years. Louis Khouri scored 13 points, and Kyle Phanord had 11 points and five assists. Phanord, coming off an 18-point night in CUA's win over York (Pa.) on Monday, was named to the All-Tournament team.
Jonny Rice paced the Quakers (7-3) with 11 points and six rebounds, and Matt McCarthy and Brandon Staves collected eight points apiece. Guilford, which committed 17 turnovers and made just 17 of 47 (36.2 percent) of its filed goals, scored 19 less points than its previous low point total this season.
The game was marred by 47 personal fouls, five technical fouls and 61 free throws. The Cards went to the line 44 times and converted 30, while the Quakers were 9 of 17. Guilford Head Coach (and athletic director) Tom Palombo was ejected from the game following his second technical with 6:21 remaining and his team trailing by 19 points.
Before and after Palombo's second technical, Fonville made seven straight free throws and nine of 10 to finish 11 of 12 from the charity stripe. He hit one of his patented floaters with 3:23 to go to put the Cards on top, 74-45.
"I know it's special for Bryson to play a North Carolina school," Howes said. "He's the guy who makes everything happen for us. He was cool under the pressure of shooting all those free throws tonight and maintained tremendous poise, as did our entire team."
Howard was 6 of 10 from the line and 5 of 7 from the field to finish with 41 points in the two games. Khouri was 3-for-3 from the field Tuesday, 5-for-7 from the line and made both of his 3-point attempts. Austin Calling continued his fine play around the basket with four points and eight rebounds. He helped CUA hold a commanding 40-28 advantage on the boards.
The Cardinals host the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Landmark Conference action Saturday at 6 p.m. The Cards are 2-0 in league play.
York (Pa.) 66, Southern Maine 51 – Dalton Myers scored 14 points and Tyler Alcid 11 to lead the victorious Spartans. Max Bell chipped in nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Zach Leal led the Huskies with 11 points, three assists and five steals. Mitch Loeman scored 10 points. Both teams are 3-7.
Notes – Former CUA assistant coach Eyal Fierst, who discovered Bryson Fonville, attended the game. Fierst is now boys basketball coach and athletic director at Fredericksburg (Va.) Academy. He is also a former Guilford assistant coach. … The CUA-Holiday Inn College Park Classic began as the eight-team Eastern Invitational on Feb. 26-28, 1988. Emory won the first championship and the Cardinals placed second. The tourney was started by the late CUA Coach Jack Bruen for independent Division III teams that didn't have a conference tournament. The Cards' first title came in 1992 under current George Washington Coach Mike Lonergan, who played under Bruen and coached under him at Colgate.