By Chris McManes
WASHINGTON – Corey Stanford has scored a lot more points than the nine he had Thursday night. It was his prowess on the boards that gave Catholic University a huge advantage.
Stanford grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, and Jay Howard scored 18 points to lead the Cardinals to their fifth-straight victory, a 77-56 runaway over Goucher.
The win, on Franny Murray Court at DuFour Center, moves the Cards' record to 11-3 and 5-0 in the Landmark Conference. The Gophers fall to 3-10 (2-2). The Cardinals are tied atop the league standings with Scranton.
Kyle Phanord tallied 16 points and Bryson Fonville 15 for CUA, which scored the first eight points and led by as much as 25. Louis Khouri's second 3-pointer of the first half put the Cardinals up 25-13, and back-to-back treys by twins Kevin and Kyle Phanord increased the CUA margin to 37-22 with 2:27 left before halftime.
The lead steadily grew in the second half and reached 25 points for the first time when Howard's jumper made it 58-33 with 11:29 to play.
CUA Coach Steve Howes, who notched his 200th career victory in his 11th season coaching his alma mater, was pleased to see his squad win the battle on the boards 44-36 and hold Goucher to 35.6 percent shooting. The Gophers were as frigid from 3-point range as the outside temperatures, connecting on just 4 of 22 (18.2 percent).
"I'm excited by the way we played defense and rebounded; those are the keys to championships," Howes said. "And I really liked the way we attacked the paint."
Stanford, a sophomore power forward who was coming off a season-high 26-point performance in the Cardinals' win at Elizabethtown (Pa.) on Tuesday, was held to 3-for-12 shooting. But he rebounded 15 of Goucher's missed shots and added four offensive boards in one of the finest rebounding performances in CUA history.
"Corey was simply amazing on the glass," Howes said. "He just took over the game; it was incredible."
Howard finished 8 of 10 from the floor and had four assists. Kyle Phanord was 6-for-9 and 4 of 6 in the bonus sphere. Fonville shot 7-for-14 as the trio combined to make 21 of 33. The Cardinals were 31 of 64 (48.4 percent) overall and 9 of 20 beyond the arc.
Tre Galloway came off the bench to score 11 points for the Gophers in only nine minutes of play. Fellow reserve Tucker Canary had eight points, and Chris Outing paced the Goucher rebounders with seven.
Howes joined his former coach and mentor, current George Washington head man Mike Lonergan, as the only two CUA men's basketball coaches to reach the 200-win plateau. Howes had already passed two of the finest coaches in hoops history when he eclipsed the late Jack Bruen and Tom Young, who lives in Virginia Beach, Va. Bruen coached NBA first-round draft pick Adonal Foyle at Colgate, and Young led Rutgers into the 1976 Final Four undefeated.
"To achieve 200 wins here is something special knowing all the brilliant coaches who have paced the sidelines before me," said Howes, who reached the milestone with his mother Kathy and twin sisters Jennifer and Stephanie right behind the Cardinal bench. "It really is humbling and is a tribute to the dedicated coaching staffs and talented players I have been blessed to work with.
"I look up to them for their effort, time and belief in our basketball family."
CUA travels to Madison, N.J., to play Landmark rival Drew (8-5, 4-1) on Saturday at 4 p.m.