December 18, 2010

Cardinals cruise past Mustangs to close out 2010

WASHINGTON – CUA led comfortably for the final 36 minutes on Saturday evening as the Cardinals rolled past Stevenson 79-50 inside DuFour Gymnasium.  The win improves CUA to 8-2 and sends the Cardinals into the holiday break on a high note.  R.J. Dixon and Jason Banzhaf scored 18 points apiece for CUA, and Banzhaf also pulled down 12 rebounds.

This one was never really in doubt as CUA led by 10 just eight minutes in and never looked back from there.  The Cardinals extended their first half lead to as many as 25 points, which came following a Dixon three-pointer with 3:36 on the clock. 

CUA took a commanding 38-17 lead into halftime as the Cardinals defense was relentless in forcing the Mustangs (3-7) into an 18 percent shooting performance.

After starting out the game 1 of 3 shooting, Dixon hit 6 of his final 7 shots, and wound up 3 of 4 from three-point range.  The senior also handed out a team-high four assists and collected a pair of steals.  The Cardinals once again did a great job at the foul line, sinking 17 of 21 attempts, good for 81 percent.

Stefon McCray led the visitors with 10 points on 3 of 6 shooting, but he was the lone Mustang in double figures.  Stevenson wound up shooting 32 percent from the floor, as it rebounded from its frigid first half showing with a 45 percent performance in the final 20 minutes. 

As the second half moved along CUA kept its lead at a sizable margin, but Stevenson did close to within 16 points on a Brett Burrier jumper with 14:58 to play.  The Cardinals all but put the game away though with an 17-5 run that increased their lead to 29 points with 7:34 remaining.

Down the stretch, CUA Head Coach Steve Howes emptied his bench, and the Cardinals reserves kept the pressure on, extending to a 33-point advantage with 3:22 on the clock.

Three Cardinals saw their first action of the season on Saturday, including Justin Johnson, Kevin Forde and Nate Lorence.  Johnson and Forde scored two points apiece, and Lorence grabbed a pair of boards.

CUA is off for the rest of 2010, and will return to action on Saturday, January 1 when the Cardinals host the CUA-Residence Inn Greenbelt Classic.  CUA will take on CCNY in its opening matchup at 4:00.

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