1999-2000 Preseason
National Rankings
No. 6 Blue Ribbon College
Basketball Yearbook
No. 12 D3hoops.com
No. 12 Columbus Multimedia
Top 15 Street & Smith's
No. 19 DIII News
2000 Tournament Results
First Round
Bye
Second Round
Def. Christopher Newport 65-64
Regional Semifinals
Def. William Paterson 57-52
Regional Finals
Lost to Franklin & Marshall 85-74

Franklin & Marshall Downs Catholic

WAYNE, N.J., March 11 - The higher one climbs before falling, the greater the pain and disappointment.

The No. 10 Catholic University men's basketball team, after ascending to the  Elite Eight for the first time in school history Friday, lost its footing and fell in an 85-74 loss to Franklin & Marshall at William Paterson University's Rec Center on Saturday night. The No. 19 Diplomats' 15th consecutive victory launches them to their fourth NCAA Division III Final Four. 

Senior Dan Harrington led the Cardinals (24-5) with 21 points and five assists. Junior Pat Maloney scored 17 points and classmate Tim Judge added 12. Catholic advanced with a 57-52 win against host William Paterson one night earlier. But that triumph seemed like ancient history in the Cardinals' locker room as tears salted one of their finest seasons.

"To be one game away from the Final Four, it's disappointing," said Catholic Coach Mike Lonergan, whose Cardinals were the only team in the nation making their third consecutive appearance in the Sweet 16. "This opportunity might never come again. I think it just wasn't meant to be."

F&M, trailing 49-45 with 12:02 to play, scored on 16 of its final 17 possessions and finished 15 of 24 (62.5 %) from the field in the second half. "That's extreme, even for this team," 29-year Diplomat Coach Glenn Robinson said. "I still feel that late in the game, they get very efficient offensively. They get very focused on what they're doing."

Sophomore Alex Kraft blazed the path for F&M with 15 points after halftime to finish with 21 points, a game-high seven rebounds and five assists. Mark Sadowski, who entered the game averaging 4.6 points, scored 19 points and fellow senior Mike Ritacco 15.  

"We couldn't get a stop in the second half and No. 10 (Sadowski) seemed like he was open all game," Lonergan said. "He killed us." 

Catholic went ahead 16-5 with 14:40 remaining in the first half, but then went over six minutes without scoring. Sadowski, 7-for-11 from the field, tied the game at 16 on a 3-pointer in the midst of a 23-4 run as the Diplomats surged ahead 28-20 with 5:51 before the break.

The Cardinals suffered a major blow 41 seconds earlier when 6-foot-8 senior center Mike Lepeonka sustained a badly sprained right ankle. He watched the rest of the game from the sidelines.

"Most painful thing I ever had to do," said Lepeonka, who hit both of his shots, including a 3-pointer, and blocked two shots. "I tried to cheer the guys on from the bench, but it wasn't enough. If this was going to be my last game, I didn't want it to end on the bench."

Said Lonergan: "They made their free throws (29 of 34) and they kicked our butts inside. We let their physical play affect us. It took us out of our game. We couldn't get loose."

Judge's 18 Points Lead Catholic to Victory

WAYNE, N.J. - Tim Judge hit six 3-pointers, including three in a row in the second half, to spark No. 10 Catholic University to a 57-52 victory against host William Paterson in an NCAA Division III Tournament sectional semifinal at the Rec Center on Friday night. The win sends the Cardinals (24-4) to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history. 

Catholic will play No. 19 Franklin & Marshall (24-5), a 76-72 victor over Rowan (22-5), for the sectional championship at the Rec Center Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The winner goes to the Final Four in Salem, Va., on March 17-18. Fifth-ranked Paterson ended at 23-5.

"It feels like we finally got the monkey off our back," said Cardinal Coach Mike Lonergan, whose team was making its third Sweet 16 appearance in a row. "I'm glad we're going one step further."

Judge, a junior who finished with a game- and career-playoff-high 18 points, hit his third consecutive 3-pointer on a spot-up stroke from the right wing to punctuate an 11-0 run and give Catholic a 49-38 lead with 4:16 to go in the game. 

"He got on a roll," Cardinal junior point guard Pat Maloney said. "We definitely had confidence in him to hit all the shots."

Maloney added 14 points and four assists and senior center Mike Lepeonka had 15 points, six rebounds and two steals. Senior guard Dan Harrington scored six points, including the 1,000th of his career.

Judge, who entered the game averaging 9.7 points, added three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Included among his career-best six 3-pointers (in seven attempts) was a first-half hoist from NBA range.

"I knew that they'd probably be keying on Pat and Dan," Judge said. "I was shooting pretty well. I knew I could hit them."

Catholic, which lost 79-71 at William Paterson in the same round last season, held Horace Jenkins to 12 points on 4-for-19 shooting. The All-American guard, who was being scouted by the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, posted game highs of nine rebounds and five assists. However, he made just 1 of 7 from 3-point range and 3 of 8 from the line.

"I wasn't shooting with confidence," said Jenkins, who faced a zone most of the night. "I thought that I did all right defensively, but I struggled offensively."

After Maloney followed Judge's three triples with one of his own, the Cards led 52-40 lead with 3:29 remaining. But the Pioneers responded with a 10-1 run that included a trey by Gregg Anacker and a three-point play by Ray Ortiz (17 points, seven boards) to draw Paterson to within 53-50 at the 1:09 mark. Maloney sealed the triumph with three free throws and Lepeonka added one with 12.8 seconds left to put Catholic up, 57-50.

While both clubs hit 18 of 53 field goals (34.0 %) and collected 38 rebounds apiece, the Pioneers were successful on just 4 of 18 (22.2 %) 3-point attempts. The Cardinals were a scorching 10 of 20 to set a school record for most treys in the NCAA Tournament. 

"They shot 10-for-20 from 3-point range," Paterson Coach Jose Rebimbas said. "That's the difference. Otherwise, it was a pretty evenly balanced game." 

After Catholic bolted to a 16-2 lead less than six minutes into the game, it went scoreless for almost 10 minutes. The drought allowed the Pioneers to draw within 16-15 before Maloney hit a running jumper off the glass to boost the Cardinal advantage to 18-15 with 4:07 left in the first half. Catholic took a 22-21 lead into halftime. 

"Our goal was to come out ready to play," Judge said. "And I think we did that. We knew they were going to make a run, and we just had to try to hold them off."

Paterson, which lost for just the second time at home this year, scored the fewest points of any Cardinal opponent in 1999-2000. Catholic, despite its second-lowest point total of the season, moves into uncharted territory after losing in the Sweet 16 in 1998 and '99.

"We're one game away from the Final Four," Lonergan said. "I hope we can get a win."

Catholic Advances to Third Sweet 16

WASHINGTON - Dan Harrington hit a jumper in the lane with 11 seconds remaining and Pat Maloney stole the ball nine seconds later as No. 10 Catholic University rallied for a 65-64 victory against No. 6 Christopher Newport in a second-round NCAA Tournament game before 1,200 fans at DuFour Center on Saturday. (Listen to the exciting final seconds of the game, Pat Coleman and Bryan Becker on the call.)

With the win, the Cardinals (23-4) advance to the Sweet 16 for a third consecutive season and will play at William Paterson (23-4). 

Maloney led Catholic with 20 points, five assists and four steals. He came up with the game-preserving steal after Brandon Jones lost control of the ball in the CNU frontcourt with two seconds left. Maloney immediately called timeout at the one-second mark. He took the inbounds pass and the game ended.

Harrington, who shot just 4-for-21, scored nine of his 12 points in the final 2:45 as the Cardinals rallied from a 59-54 deficit with 3:05 to go. He scored the game-winner off the dribble.

Despite the poor shooting effort, Catholic head coach Mike Lonergan was never worried about the final shot.

"The play was really for Pat Maloney," Lonergan said. "It was kind of a broken play, but I would have been glad to have either Dan or Pat shoot the ball."

Antoine Sinclair led the Captains (25-3) with 27 points, 15 rebounds and four steals. Terry Gray added nine points and 11 boards. CNU trailed 43-31 early in the second half before embarking on a 15-2 run to lead 46-45 with 9:35 remaining.

Tim Judge scored 12 points for the Cardinals, who led 36-29 at halftime.

Conference Honors

Dan Harrington (Washington, D.C./St. John's High) has been named CAC Player of the Year for men's basketball and Mike Lonergan (Bowie, Md.) Coach of the Year. Harrington is joined on the first team by Pat Maloney (Brant Beach, N.J./Southern Regional)

Harrington, a 6-foot senior guard, leads the Cardinals in scoring (16.7 ppg), is second in steals (1.8 spg), tied for second in assists (2.2 apg) and third in rebounding (4.5 rpg). He scored in double figures in 22 of 26 games this season, including a career-high 29 points at Salisbury State on Jan. 19.

Maloney, a junior point guard, is second on the team in scoring (15.2 ppg), first in assists (4.2 apg), first in steals (2.3 spg) and first in free-throw percentage (86.4). He has scored 1,081 career points to rank 21st in school history. He had a career-high 10 assists vs. Gallaudet on Jan. 22. Maloney was named CAC Rookie of the Year in 1997-98 and second-team All-CAC last season.

Lonergan, who has guided the Cardinals to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and five in his eight years at Catholic, garnered conference Coach of the Year honors for a second time (1997-98). He has the highest winning percentage (.684) in school history and his teams are 39-3 (.929) in CAC regular season play over the past three years.

1999-00 Results (24-5, 13-1 CAC)
Stats and boxes

Date Opponent Location Time
Nov. 22 American (Div. I) Washington, D.C. L, 83-65
Nov. 24 Ursinus Collegeville, Pa. W, 88-83
Nov. 28 Scranton DuFour Center W, 73-69
Dec. 1 Mary Washington * DuFour Center W, 72-60
Dec. 4 St. Mary's (Md.) * St. Mary's City, Md. W, 61-57
Dec. 9 Haverford DuFour Center W, 67-56
Dec. 11 Western Maryland Westminster, Md. W, 78-65
adidas D-III Desert Shootout at Las Vegas
Dec. 21 Wilmington (Ohio) Las Vegas, Nev. W, 70-64
Dec. 22 Alvernia Las Vegas, Nev. W, 72-63
CUA Pepsi Classic at DuFour Center
Jan. 8 CCNY DuFour Center W, 76-55
Jan. 9 Endicott DuFour Center W, 71-61
Jan. 12 York (Pa.) * York, Pa. W, 89-69
Jan. 15 Goucher * DuFour Center L, 84-79
Jan. 19 Salisbury State * Salisbury, Md. W, 86-82
Jan. 22 Gallaudet * DuFour Center W, 94-56
Jan. 24 Princeton (Div. I) Princeton, N.J. L, 90-49
Jan. 26 Mary Washington * Fredericksburg, Va. ppd.
Jan. 27 Mary Washington * Fredericksburg, Va. W, 80-66
Jan. 29 Marymount * DuFour Center W, 76-68
Feb. 2 St. Mary's (Md.) * DuFour Center W, 79-72
Feb. 5 Goucher * Towson, Md. W, 76-64
Feb. 9 York (Pa.) * DuFour Center W, 65-53
Feb. 12 Gallaudet * Washington, D.C. W, 88-71
Feb. 16 Salisbury State * DuFour Center W, 81-55
Feb. 19 Marymount * Arlington, Va. W, 78-73
Feb. 21 Gallaudet # DuFour Center W, 80-57
Feb. 23 Goucher # DuFour Center L, 68-59
March 4 Christopher Newport + DuFour Center W, 65-64
March 10 William Paterson + Wayne, N.J. W, 57-52
March 11 Franklin & Marshall + Wayne, N.J. L, 85-74

* Conference games
# Conference tournament
+ NCAA Tournament
Home games in bold

1999-00 Roster

No Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/High School
10 Andy Rice G 6-0 168 Jr. Springfield, Va./West Springfield
11 Tim Judge G 5-11 158 Jr. West Chester, Pa./Archbishop Carroll
15 Dan Harrington G 6-0 170 Sr. Washington, D.C./St. John's
20 Mike Hartman G/F 6-3 180 Jr. Media, Pa./Archbishop Carroll
21 Pat Maloney G 6-2 200 Jr. Brant Beach, N.J./Southern Regional
22 Kevin Wise G 6-4 160 Fr. Newtown, Pa./Notre Dame (N.J.)
23 Craig Avallone G 6-1 192 Fr. Lincroft, N.J./Christian Bros. Academy
33 Matt Hilleary F/C 6-6 189 Fr. Manassas, Va./Seton School
34 Chris Altenburger F 6-5 200 Fr. Medford, N.J./Shawnee
42 Kurt Zeisler F 6-5 224 Jr. Plymouth, Mass./Shawnee (N.J.)
53 Mike Lepeonka C 6-8 235 Sr. Darnestown, Md./Quince Orchard
54 Ryan Sheehy F/C 6-7 230 Fr. Toms River, N.J./Christian Bros. Acad.

 

 

Head Coach: Mike Lonergan (CUA '88)
Assistant Coaches: Bob Wagner (Maryland '70), Greg Sesny (CUA '99)
Manager: Joseph Olickan, Jr.
Captains: Dan Harrington, Mike Lepeonka, Pat Maloney

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