WASHINGTON - The Cardinals travel to Annville, Pa. this weekend looking to claim their first ECAC championship since 1986. CUA downed Gallaudet in the quarterfinal round by a score of 66-58 to earn its 11th 20-win season in the last 14 years. Three Cardinals hit for double figures in the win led by R.J. Dixon with 17 and Cody Otto came off the bench to contribute seven points, five rebounds and five assists in only 15 minutes of action.
The Cardinals will take on DeSales in the semifinals on Saturday with top seed and host Lebanon Valley entertaining Wesley on the other side of the bracket. The pair of winners will then meet in Sunday's championship game.
After scoring just 18 points on 28 percent shooting in the first half vs. Gallaudet CUA exploded for 48 second half points on 46 percent shooting. Dixon sank five of six 3-pointers and eight different Cardinals scored in the second half alone of the 66-58 victory.
Dixon is seeing to it that he closes out his CUA career by playing his best basketball. The native of Charlotte is averaging 20.4 points over his last five games. He has knocked down 14 3-pointers during that time and scored more than 20 points twice.
When CUA took on DeSales earlier this season (December 8) the Cardinals were without sophomore center Chris Kearney, who missed six games due to injury. Now the big man is back and has been playing well of late, averaging 10.7 points on 56 percent shooting to go along with 6.3 boards and 2.3 blocks in his last seven contests.
With its win on Wednesday CUA notched its 11th 20-win season in the last 14 years. The Cardinals last 20-win campaign came in 2006-07 when they captured the CAC championship. Under Steve Howes CUA has registered four 20-win seasons.
Saturday's game between CUA and DeSales will tip-off at 1 p.m. with Lebanon Valley and Wesley to follow at 3. Sunday's championship tilt is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.
For more info on this weekend's ECAC Tournament, check out CUA's game notes.
Lebanon Valley will offer live stats of each contest throughout the weekend.
Below is more information on the three teams joining CUA in Pennsylvania.
#2 DeSales University
Location: Center Valley, Pa.
Overall Record: 20- 8
Conference Record: 9-5
1st Round of ECAC: defeated #7 Neumann 86-74
Head Coach: Scott Coval
Leading Scorer: Brian Hunter (15.9)
All-time series with CUA: Tied 4-4
#1 Lebanon Valley
Location: Annville, Pa.
Overall Record: 21-7
Conference Record: 10-4
1st Round of ECAC: Defeated #8 Marywood 97-43
Head Coach: Brad McAlester
Leading Scorer: Anthony Trautman (19.8)
All-time series with CUA: CUA leads 4-2
#5 Wesley University
Location: Dover, Del.
Conference: Capital Athletic
Overall Record: 18-10
Conference Record: 12-4
1st Round of ECAC: Defeated #4 Misericordia 76-59
Head Coach: Jerry Kobasa
Leading Scorer: Paul Reynolds (16.0)
All-time series with CUA: CUA leads 4-0