February 9, 2011

Cardinals prep for pair of important league contests this weekend

WASHINGTON - CUA begins the stretch run of its season this weekend as the Cardinals return home to face Drew and Merchant Marine Academy in a pair of crucial conference showdowns.  The Cardinals went 1-1 last weekend on the road, downing Moravian 72-50 before Scranton snapped CUA's four-game win streak with a 79-64 decision the very next day.

CUA enters this weekend in sole possession of fourth place in the conference standings, sitting right behind the two teams it will play inside the DuFour Center.

Senior Jason Banzhaf continued his stellar season with back-to-back double-doubles and he was rewarded for his performance with the Landmark Conference Player of the Week award on Monday.  

Banzhaf continues to climb up the CUA scoring chart as he currently sits in seventh place all-time.  Banzhaf, who is just six points shy of 1,700, needs only three rebounds to move into fourth place on the all-time leaderboard.

The Cardinals return to the DuFour Center this weekend where they are 8-2 this season.  CUA is outscoring teams by 16.3 points at home, with a +9.5 rebound margin and a shooting percentage of 45.5 percent.

Chris Kearney is starting to hit his stride after missing significant time due to injury earlier this season.  The sophomore center registered a career-high six blocks at Moravian last weekend and backed it up with a career-high tying 16 points the next day at Scranton.

Drew enters this weekend as the hottest team in the Landmark Conference, having ripped off nine straight wins, including victories vs. Juniata and Susquehanna last weekend.  The Rangers have not lost since dropping a 63-57 decision at Moravian on January 9 and enter this weekend in sole possession of second place in the conference standings.

Asmar Capers, who scored 41 points the last time Drew and CUA got together, leads the conference in scoring at nearly 23 points per game.  Terrell Brown (11.2) and Luke Glass (10) join him in double figures, for a team that averages 77 points per game, but allows nearly 75.

After beginning the conference slate with a 3-4 record, Merchant Marine Academy has reeled off four straight victories to climb to third place in the standings with a 7-4 mark.  The Mariners have won those four straight at home, including last weekend over Susquehanna and Juniata.

Merchant Marine Academy enters this weekend with the conference's third toughest scoring defense, allowing 66 points per game, and the Mariners have held their last five opponents to 67 points or fewer.  Matt Hueber (12.8) and Tom Izzo (12.3) are the team's top scorers with Hueber also pacing the squad in rebounding (8.0).

For more on this weekend's conference tilts, check out the CUA game notes.

CUA and Drew will tip things off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening from inside the DuFour Center, while on Saturday the Cardinals and Mariners will get going at 4.

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