WASHINGTON – Down seven with 7:46 to play, CUA unleashed a furious 21-2 run on Frostburg State which lifted the Cardinals past a strong Bobcats team 76-64 on Tuesday evening inside the DuFour Center Gymnasium. Four Cardinals scored in double figures, and two, Jason Banzhaf and Chris Kearney, notched double-doubles in keeping CUA unbeaten at 3-0.
CUA's run began following a Brian Anderson three-pointer with just under eight minutes to play that put the visitors in front 62-55. The Cardinals came down the other end and got a basket from Banzhaf off an assist by R.J. Dixon to close within five, and Dixon then found Shawn Holmes for another bucket next time down the floor to make it a three-point game.
Frostburg (3-1) pushed its lead to five with an Ellis Hartridge basket at the 6:06 mark, but that proved to be the Bobcats final points as the Cardinals held them scoreless the rest of the way.
After CUA closed to within three the Cardinals got the ball back and were looking to pull even closer. That is when Dixon took a feed from Nate Koenig and delivered a huge three-pointer that brought the Cardinals bench to its feet and knotted things at 64 with 2:39 on the clock.
Following a defensive stop Banzhaf scored on a putback for CUA, and the Cardinals had their first lead since midway through the second half at 66-64. Kearney then scored on a fast break off a gorgeous feed from Holmes and CUA had taken full control of the game with only 1:31 to play.
In the final minute, CUA shot 8 of 10 at the foul line and held Frostburg State to only one shot on each of its final five possessions.
Banzhaf netted a game-high 23 points and he tied Kearney for game-high honors in rebounds with 11. Kearney scored 13 points, while Dixon added 12 and Holmes scored 11. Holmes also dished out six assists and did not the turn the ball over once in 33 minutes of action, while Kearney blocked an incredible seven shots, which is second best in school history, just one off Jason Alexander's record of eight.
As a team CUA shot 47-percent from the field, including a 52-percent showing in the first half. The Cardinals only turned the ball over 13 times and they outscored Frostburg State 42-22 in the paint.
The first half was close throughout with neither team able to open up more than a six-point lead, which came very early in the contest.
CUA didn't capture its first lead of the night until halfway through the opening half when Spencer Reed took a feed from classmate Brian Baker and scored to make it 18-16 Cardinals. The lead was short-lived though as Steven Ogg scored down the other end for Frostburg to tie things at 18.
A Cody Otto jumper with 6:40 to play before halftime put CUA in front by three, 24-21, but seven straight by the visitors gave Frostburg State a 28-24 advantage with 4:09 on the clock.
The Cardinals then went on a run of their own as they scored 10 of the next 12, capped by Dixon's three at the 1:35 mark, to take a 34-33 lead. Terrance Taylor's basket with 17 ticks to go put the Bobcats up one, but Holmes got free for a layup just before the first half buzzer sounded, sending CUA into the locker room with a 36-35 lead following an electric half of basketball.
Anderson finished with 19 points for the visitors, including five three-pointers, while Bradley Nunn pulled down ten rebounds. The Bobcats shot 39-percent for the game, but only 33-percent in the second half as CUA's defense forced Frostburg State into numerous tough shots.
The Cardinals will return to the court on Monday, November 29 when they travel to Pennsylvania to take on Haverford. Tip-off is set for 7:00.