WASHINGTON – The Catholic University of America men's basketball team opened its 2015-16 season on Saturday afternoon inside the DuFour Center as the No. 6 Cardinals downed Neumann, 75-64. The combo of Jay Howard and Corey Stanford did the heavy lifting as the duo totaled 48 points and 23 rebounds.
Howard, the reigning Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year, went for for a game-high 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting, adding seven rebounds in just 24 minutes. Stanford, the 2013-14 Freshman of the Year, was just as impressive going for a huge double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
"That was an outstanding victory," said head coach Steve Howes. "A great performance; an 11-point victory over an NCAA Tournament team from last season – you can't ask for much more. Neumann is a great team that has some terrific athletes and will contend for the top spot in its league."
The Cardinals led from wire-to-wire, building a 10-point advantage midway through the first half, building it as big as 18 at 40-22 at the start of the second and 19 after a Howard jumper made it 52-33 with 13:23 to play.
Neumann, which boasted three players in double-digit scoring, would not quit however and used a 17-7 run to make it a nine-point game with less than seven minutes remaining.
CUA was able to counter though as a 10-2 run of its own brought it back to a 17-point lead. The Knights charged again to cut It to 10 with a minute left, but could get no closer as the Cardinals were able to step up at the charity stripe late to seal the win.
In addition to the performances by Howard and Stanford, senior guard Bryson Fonville chipped in eight points and seven assists while his classmate, Kyle Phanord, also scored eight with two 3-pointers and four rebounds.
The Cardinals now hit the road for the 45th Annual Shrine Tournament in Ohio, hosted by Marietta. CUA plays La Roche next Friday before a potential matchup with No. 11 Marietta on the docket Saturday.