Cardinals Upend Monarchs in CUA Classic
Wheeler scores a career-high 25
WASHINGTON - With Catholic University's two leading scorers having an off day, the men's basketball team (9-2) was looking for someone else to step in. In the Cardinals' 72-43 victory over the Methodist Monarchs (4-5), that person was Stephen Wheeler (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel). The senior center scored a game and career-high 25 points and added eight rebounds. Wheeler was all over the court Saturday afternoon at the DuFour Center converting two three-point plays and throwing down a monstrous dunk off of a fast break in the second half to ignite the crowd.
The Monarchs managed to score first but that would be the only thing going right for the squad on Saturday. At 16:27 Steven Papageorge (Annandale, Va./Falls Church) hit a three to put the Cardinals up by one giving them their first and final lead change of the game. Papageorge hit another three, Scott Fumai (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) added one more and just like that the Cards were up by 12.
With the Monarchs on their heels, Wheeler and the Cards began to run the floor putting in a number of fast break points to take a 46-23 halftime lead.
Wheeler led all scorers in the first with 15 while Papageorge and Patrick Dwyer (Williamsburg, Va./Walsingham Academy) each added nine. CUA shot well from the field with a 60.7 shooting percentage and hitting 54.5 percent from long range. Adversely, the Monarchs shot just 35.7 percent from the field and 20 percent from three. CUA also held the advantage in rebounds 18-14.
The Cardinals coasted through the second half never allowing the lead to get below 18 and going up by as much as 31. Despite the advantage, CUA didn't get sloppy shooting 48 percent from the field and committing just eight turnovers in the half. When the final horn sounded CUA had sealed the 72-43 win.
Wheeler continued his presence in the middle during the second half notching 10 points to end with a career-high 25. Fumai finished with 12 and Dwyer scored 10. Wheeler also led the team in rebounding with eight and Dwyer added six assists. CUA shot 54.7 percent for the game marking just the second time this season the team has connected on more than half of its attempts.
The Cardinals will play Elizabethtown on Sunday at 4:00 p.m., in the championship game of the CUA Classic. Earlier in the day the Bluejays defeated Rutgers-Newark, 87-73, to advance. Prior to Sunday's championship the Monarchs and Scarlet Raiders will battle for in the consolation bracket.