Crusaders Hold off Cardinals

Crusaders Hold of Cardinals

1/24/2009

SELINSGROVE, Pa.- CUA's men's basketball team fell victim to the hot shooting of Susquehanna guard Matt McDevitt Friday evening, falling to the host Crusaders 84-72. The Cardinals drop to 13-4 overall, 4-2 in the Landmark Conference.

Susquehanna jumped out to a startling 18-5 lead just 4:04 into the first half on the strength of two early three-pointers. That lead diminished only slightly to 23-11 with 13:22 to play in the half, but Catholic battled back and went on an 18-6 run from there to tie the game at 29 with 7:46 left in the period. The lead exchanged back-and-forth the rest of the half until the teams spelled a 43-41 Cardinals lead at halftime.

A Susquehanna layup on the first possession after the break tied the score again at 43, and the Crusaders followed with a jumper to give them the lead back at 45-43 with 19:04 still to play. SU never looked back.

The Cardinals crawled to within three points at 62-59 after a three-pointer by senior guard Nick Olivero (Fairfax, Va./Wilbert Tucker Woodson) with 11:07 remaining, but Susquehanna made enough big plays the rest of the way.

With 3:21 on the clock, Bryan Majors hit Spenser Spencer with a highlight-reel bounce pass, and Spencer finished with a hoop-and-a-harm to give SU a late 10-point lead at 74-64.

Jason Banzhaf (Livingston, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) responded with two free throws, but the Crusaders answered that immediately with a key three-pointer that pushed the lead back out to double digits, 77-66, with 2:51 remaining. Susquehanna ended the game with the 84-72 advantage, handing the Cardinals only their fourth loss of the season.

Banzhaf led all players with 23 points, collected a team-high seven rebounds and tallied two assists and two steals. The sophomore made all eight of his free throws. Freshman guard Clark Hindelang (Ocean City, N.J./Wildwood Catholic) scored 14 points for the Cardinals, dished out two assists and grabbed a board. Sophomore guards Brian Baker (Colts Neck, N.J./Colts Neck) and R.J. Dixon (Charlotte, N.C./Cannon) scored 10 and eight points, respectively. Dixon added three rebounds and a team-high five assists and three steals.

 The Cards return to action Sunday afternoon for a 4 p.m., contest at Juniata.

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