Cards Suffer Tough Overtime Loss
Stolzenthaler's last second three sends it into OT
WASHINGTON - The Catholic University men's basketball squad suffered a heartbreaking 74-71 overtime loss to the Juniata College Eagles (12-6, 5-2 Landmark) Sunday afternoon at the DuFour Center. After an exciting shot sent it into overtime, CUA just couldn't pull out the win dropping the team to 7-11 overall and 1-6 in the Landmark Conference.
The first half showed just how evenly matched to two squads are in both tempo and tendencies. Juniata took the lead to start the game but never went ahead by more than six as the Cards battled to stay in the game. Looking at a one point deficit, the Cards fed it into the paint twice in a row and layups from Matt Fazzini (Wayne, Pa./Conestoga) and Danny Quinn (Annapolis, Md./Archbishop Spalding) put CUA on top for the first time in the contest. From that point on the Cardinals kept the lead going into the locker room leading 35-34.
The close halftime score was reflected in the statistics with the teams looking similar on paper. Both squads had 14 rebounds and CUA had just one more turnover but shot four percent better from the field. They were also similar in the way they scored as the Cards had one more three but two fewer point in the paint. Quinn led CUA with 12 points while Wes Parker (Germantown, Md./Northwest) had 10 points and team-high four rebounds.
The second half was just as even and with both teams gaining momentum it came down to the final minutes. With the shot clock off, CUA had possession down three. Parker shot and the rebound went to R.J. Dixon (Charlotte, N.C./Cannon School) who got a good look at a three which rolled off of the rim into the arms of Jason Banzhaf (Livingston, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) who laid it in as CUA cut the lead to one with 11 seconds remaining. After fouling the Cards were down three and with three seconds remaining they set up an out of bounds play on the right side. The ball went to junior captain Sean Stolzenthaler (Middletown, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) who went up with one arm hoping to draw the foul. No call was made but the ball sailed through the net to send it into overtime.
Overtime was a shooting clinic for both squads as they continued to match each other shot for shot causing seven lead changes. For three minutes the teams traded trey's with Dixon and Stolzenthaler hitting for CUA giving them the lead. With 50 second left Brent Ferko made a pair of free throws to put the Eagles up by one. The Cardinals came down and missed a three and a foul on the other end gave Juniata the chance to seal the victory. CUA managed to get off two more desperation three's but neither went in resulting in the 74-71 overtime final.
Parker led the Cardinals in both points and rebounds with 19 and six for the game. Banzhaf added ten, Quinn had 12 and Dixon notched ten points to round out the CUA scoring. The Cards were outrebounded 31-29 but had fewer turnovers. Juniata shot 48 percent from the field while the Cardinals managed 46 percent. Brian Cannon led the Eagles with 28 points.
The Cardinals now embark on a tough two-week road trip that will feature back-to-back Landmark Conference doubleheader weekends. CUA will face the United States Merchant Marine Academy on February 1st.