January 6, 2008

Cardinals Fall in CUA Classic Championship

Cardinals Fall in CUA Classic Championship
Yarbrough and Banzhaf named all-tournament

1/6/2008

WASHINGTON - The Catholic University of America men's basketball squad (6-6) lost, 67-59, in the championship game of their CUA Classic Sunday afternoon at the DuFour Center.  The Cards were defeated by the Bates College Bobcats (6-3) who claimed the tourney crown.  Cardinals Evin Yarbrough (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) and Jason Banzhaf (Livingston, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) were both named to the all-tournament squad for their performances over the weekend.

The Bobcats jumped out to an early lead but some sharp-shooting from beyond the arc got CUA right back in the game midway through the first.  On three consecutive trips down the floor a Cardinal hit a trey to give CUA the four point lead after trailing.  Long distance contributions came from R.J. Dixon (Charlotte, N.C./Cannon School), Yarbrough and D.J. Johnston (Ambler, Pa./Germantown Academy).  That was all the spark CUA needed as they held onto the lead going up by as much as 12 before half.  The Cardinals went into the locker room with a 36-32 advantage.

Yarbrough was the star of the first half with almost a perfect performance shooting 100 percent from the field and the line but committing one turnover, he had 12 points to lead the Cards.  Freshman Chris McGrew (Burtonsville, Md./Paint Branch) had four points and a team-high five rebounds.  For the second game in a row CUA shot over 50 percent in the half while the Bobcats shot 35 percent from the field.  The Cards dominated the paint outrebounding Bates 20-12.

The Cards good fortune ran out in the second, however, as a fired up Bates squad took the lead early on and never relinquished it.  A technical at the half gave them two free throws before time began and sparked a 14-point run as the Cards didn't find the bottom of the net until almost five minutes in.  Looking at the deficit, CUA staged a number of small comebacks but the Bobcats had a well-timed answer for every one.  With a minute remaining in the game, a layup from Wes Parker (Germantown, Md./Northwest) put CUA down by just four but Bates sank their free throws as CUA was forced to foul.  At the final buzzer the Cards lost 67-59.

Yarbrough led the Cards with a career-high 17 points as well as three rebounds.  Parker was the second leading scorer with 13 points and five rebounds while McGrew contributed seven points and a team-high eight rebounds.  The Cards shot just 29 percent in the second half ending the game at 40 percent from the field.  CUA did hold an advantage in rebounds 37-31 but committed 17 turnovers to Bates' 13.  Pat Halloran led the Bobcats with 25 while tournament MVP Bryan Wholey had 18 points.

CUA will have the week off before host Drew in a Landmark Conference game on Friday at the DuFour Center.  Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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