December 2, 2006

Gophers Hand Cards First Loss of the Season

 

Gophers Hand Cards First Loss of the Season
Cardinals notch 27 turnovers in the loss

12/2/2006

WASHINGTON - Turnovers were the story of the game for the Catholic University men's basketball team (5-1-1 CAC) Saturday afternoon at the DuFour Center.  The Cardinals blew an 18-point lead by committing 27 turnovers in their 68-62 loss to the Goucher Gophers.  Goucher on the other hand had more 19 steals and just 16 turnovers to give CUA its first loss on the season.

The first half the Cardinals played the same basketball they had been all season long.  Inside the Cards were dominating with 30 rebounds to Goucher's 18.  Pat Dwyer Williamsburg, Va./Walsingham Academy) scored 10 points in the first twenty including a 7-8 performance at the line.  The Cards held the lead despite a number of Gopher surges and seemed to be in control.

CUA was up 37-27 at the half thanks to a late 7-0 run to close it out led by Steven Papageorge (Annandale, Va./Falls Church).  The senior guard made two free throws and a layup to spark the run while Sean Stolzenthaler (Middletown, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) added a miraculous half court shot at the buzzer.  CUA had 12 turnovers in the first half while Goucher committed ten.

The halftime buzzer beater seemed to inspire the Cards as the team came out of the locker room and immediately began another 8-0 run to make it sixteen unanswered points in total.  CUA held the comfortable lead until halfway through when it began to unravel.

Down by 14 at with 10:10 remaining, the Gophers pressure man to man defense became incredibly effective.  Goucher went on a 15-0 run due to seven Cardinals turnovers in six minutes.  The Cards missed layups and free throws as Goucher collapsed inside and deflected passes up top.  CUA lost the lead at 4:34 and wouldn't get it back.

In the final five minutes CUA just one more turnover but also displayed no offense.  Despite the Gophers fouling a lot in the closing minutes, the Cards didn't use it to their advantage and missed five crucial free throws in the last two minutes.  The jubilant Gophers stormed the court as time ticked away with the final 68-62.

Dwyer had his fourth double-double of the year with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds.  Fumai had both 12 points and boards.   CUA shot 32 percent for the game and a dismal 66 percent from the line.  Leading the Gophers was James Russo with 22.

CUA will be on the road on Wednesday with a doubleheader at Marymount beginning at 8:00 p.m.      

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