Cardinals take on Brockport in Sweet Sixteen
GAME NOTES: Catholic University (24-5) travels to Clark University to play an NCAA Tournament sectional semifinal against Brockport State (21-8) on March 9 at 5:30 p.m. The Cardinals have won 12 in a row and are one victory shy of the school record for wins in a season (1997-98). The winner will advance to play the winner of the other sectional semifinal, matching Kings Point (22-7) and Clark (23-4). The sectional championship takes place March 10 at 7:30. The sectional champion advances to the 2001 Division III Final Four in Salem, Va., on March 16-17.
Radio: Friday's game will be broadcast by D3hoopsNet. Ray Martel of WFAN Radio in New York will provide the play-by-play.
Sweet Four You: With their 69-67 victory at Widener University in Chester, Pa., on March 3, the Cardinals became the only team in the nation to advance to the last four NCAA Sweet 16s. CUA entered the season as the only school to accomplish the feat the past three years. The Cardinals' best national finish was an Elite Eight appearance last season.
NCAA First-Round Game: Matt Hilleary scored a game-high 20 points and Pat Maloney and Andy Rice added 17 each to lead host CUA to an 82-65 victory over CCNY at DuFour Center on March 1. See the release for more information.
NCAA Second-Round Game: The Cardinals rallied from 14 points down in the first half to defeat host Widener University, 69-67, on March 3. Matt Hilleary led four players in double figures scoring with 15 points. See the release for more information.
How The Cardinals Advanced to the NCAA Tournament: CUA earned the top seed in the 2001 Capital Athletic Conference Tournament by virtue of winning the CAC regular season title with an 11-3 record. After defeating Gallaudet and York (Pa.), the host Cardinals won the CAC Tournament championship and automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs with a 61-59 victory over Marymount. Pat Maloney led the way with 27 points and five assists.
National Rankings: CUA is ranked 14th in the nation by D3hoops.com.
Series History: The Cardinals won the only meeting between the two teams, 92-89, in the first round of the Susquehanna Varsity Club Tournament in Selinsgrove, Pa., on Nov. 20, 1992. Ironically, the win came in Mike Lonergan's first game as a head coach. Mike Connelly, CUA's sixth-leading career scorer, tallied 32 points that night. The Cards won the tournament the following evening, defeating the host Crusaders, 85-82.
Lonergan Close to Rice: Cardinal Head Coach Mike Lonergan, who has been named CAC Coach of the Year three times in his nine years at CUA, has a career record of 173-74 (.700). He has the highest winning percentage in school history and is second all-time in victories, three behind Fred Rice. Rice posted a record of 176-137 (.562) from 1911-30.
Lonergan in the Big Dance: Coach Mike
Lonergan's NCAA Tournament record is 7-5. He is the only
coach in CUA basketball history to win in the NCAA playoffs. Here's
a breakdown of how he's fared:
Home: 3-1 | Away: 4-2 | Neutral: 0-2
Tournament Time: The Cardinals are making their fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and eighth overall (1944, 1964, 1993, 1996 the others). The Cards have won their last four NCAA playoff games on the road: at Widener last week, at William Paterson last year and at Lebanon Valley and Goucher in '99. For a complete breakdown of the CUA's NCAA playoff history, see page 23 of the Cardinals 2000-01 Media Guide.
Wise Men Say: Sophomore guard Kevin Wise hit a couple big 3-pointers in the Cards' 69-67 win at Widener last week. His first one, with 34 seconds left before halftime, came in the midst of a 10-3 spurt that allowed CUA to pull within 43-36 at halftime. Then he drained one from well beyond the arc with 7:50 to play as part of a 12-4 game-closing run.
Matt on the Mark: Sophomore center Matt Hilleary has played brilliantly of late at both ends of the court. In his last seven games he has hit 43 of 59 shots (72.9 %) and 11 of 15 free throws (73.3 %), while blocking 2.9 shots per game. He averages 12.4 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds. He has recorded five double-double (points, rebounds) this year, most recently a 14-point, 11-rebound effort against Gallaudet on Feb. 20. He blocked a career-high six shots against York (Pa.) in the CAC Tournament on Feb. 22 and leads the CAC in blocks (2.4 bpg). Hilleary is CUA's most accurate shooter (53.0 %).
We've Got a Strong Will: Will Morley hit the game-winning shot in the CAC championship to give the Cardinals a 61-59 victory over Marymount on Feb. 24. The freshman forward's soft jumper in the lane came off a bounce pass from Pat Maloney. Morley is third on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg) and rebounding (4.2 rpg), and second in shooting percentage (49.8 %). Unofficially, he leads CUA in charges taken. He took a big one with 2:25 left in the Cards' 69-67 victory at Widener last week. His basket 28 seconds later put the Cardinals on top, 68-65.
Free Will: Will Morley leads the CAC in free-throw percentage (84.2). He has succeeded on 85 of his 101 attempts. His best performance was a 9-for-9 effort at Marymount on Jan. 20.
Familiar Faces: Clark senior point guard John Ginnity played at CUA as a freshman in 1997-98. Cardinal sophomore forward Brian Meyer played for Kings Point in 1998-99.
Break Must Start with a W: While many of their classmates have gone to Florida or the Bahamas for Spring Break, CUA seniors Tim Judge, Mike Hartman, Pat Maloney, Andy Rice and Kurt Zeisler have spent the past four Spring Breaks in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Wayne, N.J. (twice) and now Worcester, Mass.
How About a J.O.B.?: CUA senior swingman Mike Hartman's uncle is Boston Celtics Head Coach Jim O'Brien.