February 22, 2011

CUA begins quest for conference title at No. 2 Drew

WASHINGTON - The postseason begins on Wednesday evening for CUA as the No. 3 Cardinals head to New Jersey for a Landmark Conference Tournament semifinal showdown with second-seeded Drew.  CUA comes into this game having won three straight and seven of its last eight, including a 79-60 victory over Goucher this past weekend on Senior Night.

Jason Banzhaf registered his 13th double-double in the win with 19 points and 11 boards, while R.J. Dixon (18), Shawn Holmes (13) and Chris Kearney (10) joined him in double figures.  CUA and Drew are both looking for their first-ever win in the Landmark Conference Tournament.

The Cardinals shot an impressive 61.5 percent in their win over Goucher last weekend, including a sizzling 64 percent in the second half.  Of the 11 CUA players who took a shot, nine registered a field goal percentage of at least 50 percent, led by Shawn Holmes who sank all six of his attempts.

During conference play CUA has made a living in the paint, outscoring its opponents a combined 418-294.  The Cardinals have outscored their league foes in the paint in every game, but two, with a high of 44 points on two occasions.

CUA Head Coach Steve Howes will be coaching in his 21st career postseason game on Wednesday.  He has posted a record of 12-8 in his first 20 postseason contests.

After being swept by Catholic and Goucher on February 11 and 12, Drew bounced back in a big way last weekend with a 64-60 victory at Merchant Marine Academy.  That win gave the conference's No. 2 seed to the Rangers and with it the right to host Wednesday's semifinal contest.  Drew is 9-3 at home this season, including a 6-1 mark vs. conference foes.

Drew won nine straight games from January 14 through February 5 and is making its first-ever appearance in the Landmark Conference Tournament.  The Rangers are led by the conference's top scorer Asmar Capers, who averages 22.7 points per game, and as a team Drew ranks second in the league in scoring at 74.5 points.  Terrell Brown (10.4) and Luke Glass (10.0) also average in double figures with Brown leading the way on the backboards with 174 caroms.

CUA and Drew split their two meetings earlier this season with each team winning on its home floor.  The Cardinals lead the all-time series 8-2.

For more information on the CUA-Drew postseason showdown, check out CUA's game notes.

Wednesday's game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. from Madison, N.J.  Drew will show the game live on its website. 

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