February 24, 2010

Men's Basketball Makes a Run Late, but Falls Short, 75-70 to Scranton

Men's Basketball Makes a Run Late, but Falls Short, 75-70 to Scranton

2/24/10

SCRANTON, Pa.--
CUA (18-8) entered the 2009-10 post-season as the No. 3 seed in the Landmark Conference tournament and looked to upset No. 2 seeded Scranton (18-8) Wednesday night in Landmark Conference semifinal action. The Cardinals charged from a 13-point deficit with 7:57 to go in the second half to cut the lead to three, but ran out of time as Scranton dropped CUA, 75-70 and advanced to the Landmark Conference final on Saturday.

R.J. Dixon led the offensive attack for the Cardinals scoring 18 points and adding five assists, while Jason Banzhaf put up another double-double effort scoring 17 points and adding 13 rebounds. Banzhaf grabbed nine boards offensively.

Eli Londo scored 18 points to lead the Royals while the hosts had four players reach double figures. Dan O'Connell recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The teams exchanged small leads throughout the first half before R.J. Wallace sparked a 8-0 run that put the Royals on top, 28-18 with 2:44 remaining. At the break CUA cut the lead to seven, 30-23.

The second half started much like the first, with both teams exchanging baskets with the lead relatively unchanged until CUA began to chip away at the lead in the final minutes.  In the final 7:57 that Cardinals slowly chipped away at the 13-point lead and with just under 90 seconds remaining cut that lead to five.

In the strech Scranton would convert 9 of 12 free throws to secure the victory and trip to the conference final.

CUA will now await the NCAA and ECAC tournament fields to be announced. With an 18-8 record in 2009-10 the Cardinals will look to take a second consecutive trip to the postseason and their eleventh trip in 12 seasons, since the 1997-98 season when former head coach Mike Lonergan led the Cards to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

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