Cardinals Down Division I Albany, 59-56
Lonergan Notches 150th Career Victory
NEW BRITAIN, CONN.--The Cardinals beat a Division I team for the first time in 13 tries under Mike Lonergan, defeating University at Albany 59-56 on Nov. 18 in the Mohegan Sun Classic at Central Connecticut State.
Pat Maloney led all scorers with 20 points, including 10-for-11 free-throw shooting as Catholic rallied from a five-point deficit with 4:44 left. Senior guard Andy Rice hit a three-pointer to cut the Albany lead to 51-49, sparking a 10-0 run which left the Cardinals leading 56-51 with 32 seconds remaining.
After Brian Meyer missed two free throws, Albany cut the lead to two points. Pat Maloney made one of two with two seconds left and a desperation heave by Steve Albany was no good as time expired.
No NCAA Division III team beat an NCAA Division I team in the 1999-2000 season.
"I'm happy for our team," said Catholic Coach Mike Lonergan, who celebrated his 150th career victory. "It's been harder to schedule a Division I game recently, and to come so close last night, it's very gratifying to finally defeat a team with full scholarships."
Rice added 10 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, while Meyer added another 10 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals, who improved to 1-1 on the season. Maloney was named to the All-Tournament team.
Catholic, which was ranked No. 7 in Division III in the D3hoops.com preseason Top 25, lost to Division I Columbia in the opener of the tournament, 63-58. Sophomore Matt Hilleary led the Cardinals with 13 points, a career-high-tying 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.
CUA, which advanced to its first NCAA Division III Elite Eight in 1999-2000, finished with a final ranking of sixth in the nation and posted a record of 24-5. It is 72-16 (.818) over the past three seasons and is the only Division III school in the country to advance to the past three Sweet 16s. Ironically, Lonergan was a finalist for the Albany job this past summer.
Columbia was 13-14 last season, Albany 11-17 and Central Connecticut finished 25-6 and advanced to the NCAA Division I Tournament.